Medical Definition of Breast aplasia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Breast aplasia: A rare condition wherein the normal growth of the breast or nipple never takes place. They are congenitally absent. There is no sign whatsoever of the breast tissue, areola or nipple. There is nothing there.

Breast aplasia (also called, amastia) is frequently not alone as the only problem. Unilateral amastia (amastia just on one side) is often associated with absence of the pectoral muscles (the muscles of the front of the chest). Bilateral amastia (with absence of both breasts) is associated in 40% of cases with multiple congenital anomalies (birth defects) involving other parts of the body as well.

Amastia is thought to be described in the Bible: "We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts" (Song of Solomon VIII:8).

Amastia can be distinguished from amazia -- wherein breast tissue is absent, but the nipple is present -- a condition that typically is a result of radiation or surgery.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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