The breast is an infrequently recognised site of primary giant cell arteritis. Two cases of giant cell arteritis affecting the breast are described and 11 previously described cases are reviewed. All cases presented with single or multiple breast masses, leading to a diagnosis before biopsy of suspected breast carcinoma. Symptoms similar to those of polymyalgia rheumatica occurred in about half of these patients, though the significance of these symptoms was only appreciated in retrospect. Clinical or pathological evidence of giant cell arteritis outside the breast (temporal artery, thyroid artery) was noted in a minority of cases. Seven patients received corticosteroid treatment, and all patients recovered without complications. Two patients had an adenocarcinoma of the breast contiguous with the giant cell arteritis. Giant cell arteritis affecting the breast may be underrecognised and should be considered in older women with polymyalgia rheumatica-like symptoms and tender breast mass(es).
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