Introduction: Tuberculosis remains a global health burden, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Breast tuberculosis is a rare disease with minimal research available. This disease produces a diagnostic challenge as the clinical presentation is variable, and diagnosis often requires additional investigations. This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy of cytology and histology, together with ancillary studies, in diagnosing tuberculous mastitis. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted in a Johannesburg Hospital over 5 years. Thirty-two patients with confirmed tuberculous mastitis were included. The patients were considered positive for tuberculous mastitis if histological or cytological findings were confirmed with either a positive tuberculosis culture, Ziehl-Neelsen stain, or polymerase chain reaction examination/GeneXpert. Results: This case series comprises 3 males and 29 females with a mean age of 35.66. A breast mass was the most common presentation. Over these 5 years, more biopsies were performed on inflammatory breast lesions than fine needle aspirations. There was a higher confirmation rate for cytology diagnoses compared to histology diagnoses. Conclusion: This study supports using fine needle aspiration combined with GeneXpert as the primary diagnostic modality in diagnosing tuberculous mastitis. This test combination is advantageous in resource- and financially constrained environments as it is relatively simple to perform, cost-effective, and has a rapid turnaround time.

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