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Introduction: Our institution previously reported on outcomes of children with untreated and not spontaneously draining breast abscesses. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of all patients with breast abscesses who were evaluated at our institution. Methods: Following IRB approval, all patients < 18-years-old with breast abscesses were included. A total of 145 patients treated from January 2008-December 2018 were identified. Patients were divided into 2 groups; Group 1 included patients initially evaluated at our institution and Group 2 included patients who were initially evaluated at referring centers. The primary outcome was disease persistence. Secondary outcomes were antibiotic utilization, number and type of procedures performed, and risk factors for recurrence. Statistical analysis was performed using STATA® 17 with a p-value of <0.05 indicating significance. Results: A total of 145 patients were identified: 111 (76.6%) in Group 1 and 34 (23.4%) in Group 2. Demographics were similar between groups. Of the 111 patients in Group 1, 2 (1.8%)) were treated with observation alone, 58 (52.3%) were treated with antibiotics alone, 26 (23.4%) were treated with aspiration, and 25 (22.5%) were treated with incision and drainage. Of the 34 patients in Group 2, 4 (11.8%) were treated initially with observation, 22 (64.7%) with antibiotics alone, 5 (14.7%) with manual expression, 2 (5.9%) with incision and drainage, and 1 (2.9%) with warm compresses. Patients in Group 1 were more likely to receive needle aspiration (23.4% vs. 0%; p<0.001) or incision and drainage (22.5.% vs. 5.9%; p<0.001) as initial treatment. Compared to Group 2, patients in Group 1 were more likely to be prescribed clindamycin when treated with antibiotics alone (69.9% vs 18.2%; p<0.001). They also had a 12.6% persistent disease rate (n=14). Second treatment in those with persistent disease included aspiration in 50% (n=7), incision and drainage 45.5% (n=5), antibiotics 7.1% (n=1), and manual expression 7.1% (n=1). No patients had persistent disease following second treatment. Patients in Group 2 were more likely to be treated with antibiotics alone (64.7% vs. 52.3%; p<0.001), with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole being the most commonly prescribed antibiotic (54.6%). In patients with persistent disease treated at our institution following initial evaluation at a referring center, 50.0% were treated with antibiotics alone, 26.5% with aspiration, 17.7% with incision and drainage, and 5.9% with manual expression. Following treatment at our institution, the rate of persistent disease was similar between groups (12.6% vs 11.8%;). Conclusions: Persistent breast abscesses may be treated with antibiotics alone in community and tertiary care centers. Disease persistence is similar regardless of the initial treatment setting.

Publication Date



Pediatrics | Surgery

When and Where Presented

Presented at the 18th Annual Academic Surgical Congress; Houston, TX; February 7-9th, 2023.

Persistent Pediatric Breast Abscesses Following Initial Treatment at Tertiary and Community Centers