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Definition of Absence of the nipple

Absence of the nipple: Medically called athelia, this is a rare condition that may occur with a number of hereditary diseases or chromosomal defects, such as Poland Syndrome, progeria (premature aging), ectodermal dysplasia, and Yunis-Varon syndrome. Athelia tends to occurs on one side (unilaterally) in children with the Poland sequence and on both sides (bilaterally) in certain types of ectodermal dysplasia.

Athelia is distinguished from amastia, wherein the breast is absent, and from amazia, wherein breast tissue is absent but the nipple is still resent.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9421
Last Editorial Review: 10/30/2013

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