Anatomy of the nipple and breast ducts revisited

Authors

  • Susan M. Love M.D., M.B.A.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of General Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    2. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Los Angeles, California
    • P.O. Box 846, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Dr. Love is the founder of ProDuct Health, Inc., which commercialized the intraductal catheter. ProDuct Health has since been acquired by Cytyc Corporation, and Dr. Love currently holds stock in and serves as a consultant to Cytyc.

    • Fax: (310) 230-1612

  • Sanford H. Barsky M.D.

    1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Additional study contributors who were not involved in the writing of the current article include Mary Alpaugh, Ph.D.; Jean Chou, M.D.; Stella Grosser, Ph.D.; Sharon Hirschowitz, M.D.; Regina Offodile, M.D.; DaWanda Pesicka, P.A.; Paul Schmit, M.D.; and Eufrosina Traipe, M.D.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Increasing interest in the intraductal approach to the breast has necessitated revisiting the anatomy of the breast.

METHODS

Using six different complementary in vivo and in vitro approaches, the authors determined the number, distribution, and anatomic properties of the ductal systems of the breast, which extend from the nipple orifices to the terminal duct lobular units.

RESULTS

More than 90% of all nipples examined contained 5–9 ductal orifices, generally arranged as a central group and a peripheral group. Each nipple orifice communicated with a separate, nonanastomosing ductal system, which extended to the terminal duct lobular unit.

CONCLUSIONS

Increased knowledge of the ductal anatomy of the breast and the ability to access the nipple ductal orifices will provide a foundation for the intraductal approach to the breast. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society

Ancillary