ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Polythelia: Cases series and mini-review of the literature


Introduction: Polythelia represents the congenital presence of at least one supernumerary nipple with or without associated accessory breast tissue (polymastia). We aim to present cases series confirmed with polythelia and introduce a mini-review of the PubMed literature.

Cases series: Eight adult patients confirmed with sporadic unilateral polythelia on the milk line were included. Left right ratio was three to five. The accessory nipple size was smaller than ortothopic one. No underlying breast anomaly was detected at ultrasound. Anamnesis did not reveal any other significant medical condition to any of the patients. Kajawa classification was applied to all the subjects and revealed areolar polythelia type. None of the patients wanted, neither required cosmetic plastic surgery.

General data: Polythelia is identified very early at birth or after different hormonal stimulus as seen during pregnancy, lactation, puberty. Genetic syndromes as Char syndrome include polythelia, but also some other autosomal dominant conditions involving bone, brain, eye anomalies. A particular high rate of malignant co-morbidities or malformations of the kidneys and or urinary tract is found on a subset of patients with polythelia (for instance, for renal, gallbladder, testicular, and prostate cancer).

Conclusion: Polythelia may be found in current medical practice as a sporadic or familial condition without significance but severe forms are associated with genetic syndromes, uro-genital anomalies and some malignancies, including ectopic breast cancer.

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