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Papillomas and Atypical Papillomas in Breast Core Needle Biopsy Specimens
Risk of Carcinoma in Subsequent Excision

Andrew A. Renshaw MD, Robert P. Derhagopian MD, Dolores M. Tizol-Blanco MD, Edwin W. Gould MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/K1BNJXETEY3H06UL 217-221 First published online: 1 August 2004


We sought to define the risk associated with papillomas and atypical papillomas in breast core needle biopsy specimens from a series of approximately 8,500 biopsies performed during 8 years. From a total of 62 papillary lesions (including papillomas and atypical papillomas), 40 (65%) had histologic follow-up. Overall, 15 (38%) of 40 patients had ductal carcinoma in situ (12 cases) or invasive carcinoma at excision (3 cases). Eight cases diagnosed as papilloma had benign follow-up. Slides were available for review in 38 cases and reclassified into benign papilloma with florid hyperplasia and no or minimal atypia (18 cases), papilloma with separate foci of atypical ductal hyperplasia (7 cases), and severely atypical papillomas “suspicious” for papillary carcinoma (13 cases). Carcinoma was identified in 0 (0%), 2 (29%), and 12 (92%) cases, respectively. We conclude that while atypical papillary lesions and papillomas with associated atypical ductal hyperplasia in breast core needle biopsy specimens are associated with a risk of carcinoma, lesions diagnosed as papilloma or papilloma with no or minimal atypia are benign and do not need to be excised.

Key Words:
  • Breast
  • Neoplasia
  • Carcinoma
  • Papillary lesions
  • Papilloma
  • Biopsy
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Mammotomy