Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Mastitis


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is mastitis. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how mastitis will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

A 35 year old woman comes to the clinic with right breast pain that started about 2 days ago. She has had a fever, muscle aches, and fatigue that she all first noticed yesterday. She had a spontaneous vaginal delivery 6 weeks ago, and has been breastfeeding her newborn. She received her yearly flu vaccine last week. Her husband has been feeding the baby pumped breast milk, just so the patient will be able to sleep uninterrupted through the night. Her temperature is 102.0°F. Examination shows a tired appearing woman, who also has an area of erythema and tenderness at the upper lateral quadrant of the left breast. The physician does not notice any fluctuance, however there is right axially lymphadenopathy present as well. What is the most likely diagnosis in this patient?

Explanation: fever + erythema of breast + no fluctuance = mastitis

Question # 2

A 33 year old woman, G1P1) ,comes to the clinic complaining of breast tenderness for 1 day. She is breastfeeding her 12 day old newborn. Her past medical history is notable for type 1 diabetes mellitus which is well controlled with insulin. Her temperature is 102.3’F), and pulse is 130/min. Examination shows engorgement of the breasts on both sides. There is an erythematous, nonfluctuant, tender area in the upper outer quadrant of the left breast. Abdominal examination is unremarkable. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

Explanation: fever + erythema of breast + no fluctuance = mastitis

Question # 3

A year old G4P3 woman is exclusively breastfeeding her newborn when she develops a fever and a red tender wedge-shaped area on the outer quadrant of her right breast. What is the likely diagnosis?

Explanation: fever + erythema of breast + no fluctuance = mastitis

Question #4

A 32 year old breastfeeding female comes to the clinic for localized swelling, redness, and pain on her right breast. She also complains of muscle aces and fatigue. Her vitals are as follows: temperature of 101.3°F, pulse is 85/min, blood pressure is 130/70 mm Hg, and respiration are 18/min. A physical exam reveals a localized area of erythema and warm on the right breast. There are no palpable masses or lymphadenopathy. What is the likely diagnosis in this patient? 

Explanation: fever + erythema of breast + no fluctuance = mastitis



Page Updated: 10.18.2016