E2089. The Complexities of the Nipple-Areolar Complex: A Spectrum of Disease
  1. Sara Mozayan; Yale New Haven Hospital
  2. Liva Andrejeva; Yale New Haven Hospital
The nipple-areolar complex (NAC) is a unique anatomic landmark of the breast composed of specialized cells and tissues that facilitate secretion of milk during lactation. Evaluation of the NAC can pose a diagnostic challenge as overlapping breast structures, operator technique, and varied nipple enhancement can complicate mammographic, sonographic, and MRI assessment, respectively. Furthermore, the NAC can be affected by a spectrum of benign and malignant pathologies that can share overlapping imaging characteristics. Therefore, knowledge of the normal variants as well as intrinsic pathologies affecting the NAC is essential for the timely and accurate diagnosis of disease.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
Educational goals include a review of normal anatomical and radiologic characteristics of the NAC as well as an examination of benign and malignant processes affecting the NAC.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
This exhibit will utilize a case-based approach to review the clinical presentation, multi-modality imaging features, histopathology, and management of the various diseases involving the NAC. This will include a discussion of benign entities, such as dermatitis, mastitis, nipple adenoma, and intraductal papilloma, as well as malignant entities such as Paget disease, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive ductal carcinoma.

The NAC is an anatomically complex region that requires specialized assessment to recognize an underlying abnormality. Awareness of the conditions affecting the NAC and their clinical and imaging features is essential in facilitating appropriate care and improving patient outcomes.