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Lactiferous duct

Synonym: Ductus lactifer, Ductus lactiferus, Ductus lacritfer colligens
German: Ductus lactifer

1 Definition

The lactiferous ducts are a part of the ductal system of the breast milk of the mammary glands.

2 Histology

The mammary gland is subdivided into various lobes (lobuli). Every 10-20 lobuli with their lactiferous ductuli terminate into one lactiferous duct, which posesses a length of 2 to 4 cm. Short before its ending into the nipple it extends to the lactifer sinus. The epithelium of the lactiferous ducts consists of two layers of isoprismatic myoepithelial cells. During pregnancy and the breastfeeding period, the lactiferous ducts are considerably enlagerd.

3 Medical Significance

The transition from lobe to duct is called terminal ductual lobular unit and the origin of the majoritiy of mamma carcinoma.

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