Résumé : Background Patients with metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer (HER2+ BC) frequently experience brain metastases (BM). We aimed to define risk factors for the development of BM in patients with HER2+ BC and to report on their outcome. Methods This is a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with HER2+ BC between January 2000 and December 2014 at Institut Jules Bordet, Belgium. Statistical analyses were conducted with SAS V.9.4 using Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analyses. Results A total of 483 patients were included of whom 108 (22.4%) developed metastases and 52 (10.8%) BM. Among 96 metastatic patients without BM at diagnosis, 40 (41.7%) developed BM in the course of their disease. In multivariate analysis, risk factors for the development of BM were age ≤40 years (HR 2.10, 95 % CI 1.02 to 4.36), tumour size >2 cm (HR 4.94, 95% CI 1.69 to 14.47), nodal involvement (HR 3.48, 95% CI 1.47 to 8.25), absence or late start (≥6 months after initial diagnosis) of adjuvant anti-HER2 treatment (HR 3.79, 95% CI 1.52 to 9.43 or HR 2.65, 95% CI 1.03 to 6.82) and the development of lung metastases as first site of relapse (HR 6.97, 95% CI 3.41 to 14.24). Twenty-two patients with HER2+ BC and BM sent to our institute for further treatment were included in the outcome analysis. Asymptomatic patients at the time of BM diagnosis showed a better overall survival than symptomatic patients (HR 0.49, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.94). Conclusion A considerable number of patients with metastatic HER2+ BC will develop BM. Screening of patients with risk factors for BM might lead to early detection and better outcome. However, randomised controlled trials examining the use of MRI as a screening method for BM in patients with metastatic BC are warranted before such an approach can be recommended.