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Papillary Lesions of the Breast With and Without Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia
Can We Accurately Predict Benign Behavior From Core Needle Biopsy?

S. Nicholas Agoff MD, Thomas J. Lawton MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/NAPJMB0GXKJC6PTH 440-443 First published online: 1 September 2004


Evaluation of papillary lesions of the breast can be difficult, and in core needle biopsy specimens, accurate diagnosis is challenging. Initial studies suggested that all papillary lesions revealed by core biopsy required surgical excision. Recent data suggest that only papillary lesions with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) revealed by core biopsy need surgical excision. We evaluated our experience at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, with papillary lesions with and without ADH on core biopsy to determine whether diagnostic accuracy can be achieved. In 51 core biopsy specimens, we evaluated the presence or absence of ADH: 25 were benign papillomas; 26 were papillomas with ADH. Surgical follow-up was available for 36 cases (11 papillomas and 25 papillomas with ADH). Clinical (radiologic) follow-up was available in 5 papilloma cases (average follow-up, 35.6 months). Follow-up revealed that all papillomas on core biopsy were benign. Excisional biopsy revealed ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive carcinoma in 12 (48%) of 25 papillary lesions with ADH. Benign papillomas can be adequately diagnosed with core biopsy. All papillary lesions with ADH require surgical excision owing to the high rate of associated neoplasia.

Key Words:
  • Papillary lesions
  • Breast
  • Core needle biopsy