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Diagn Cytopathol. 2000 Apr;22(4):246-9.

A case of amelanotic spindle-cell melanoma presenting as metastases to breast and axillary lymph node: diagnosis by FNA cytology.

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  • 1Cytopathology and FNA Services, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Healthcare Network, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


Metastatic neoplasms to the breast are relatively rare. Spindle-cell lesions of the breast are also uncommon. Here we present a case of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of an amelanotic, spindle-cell melanoma metastatic to the breast and axillary lymph node. The patient was a 47-yr-old female who presented with a right breast mass, left axillary adenopathy, and a pigmented skin lesion on the back. FNA of the right breast and left axilla showed malignant, nonpigmented spindle cells that were weakly positive for HMB-45 on immunocytochemistry. The skin biopsy showed a pigmented malignant melanoma with epithelioid features, and also weak positivity for HMB-45. Although malignant melanoma is one of the more common tumors to metastasize to the breast, this is the first known case that showed exclusive spindle-cell morphology. History and physical examination were crucial in making the correct FNA diagnosis. The cytologic differential diagnosis of spindle-cell tumors of breast and the discordant morphology between the primary and metastatic melanotic lesions observed in this case are discussed.

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