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Acta Cytol. 2005 Mar-Apr;49(2):149-53.

Robinson cytologic grading of invasive ductal breast carcinoma: correlation with histologic grading and regional lymph node metastasis.

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  • 1Pathology Department, Hospital Universitario Virgen de Valme, Seville, Spain.



To evaluate the importance of cytologic grading of breast carcinoma and its association with histologic grading and the existence of axillary lymph node metastasis.


Aspirates and surgical samples from 100 patients with invasive ductal breast carcinoma not otherwise specified were studied. In 50 patients, > or = 1 metastatic nodes were identified. The cytologic grade was evaluated using the Robinson method and the histologic grade using the Elston modification of the Bloom-Richardson method. A study was undertaken to establish the association between histologic and cytologic grades and to compare the various parameters used to evaluate cytologic grade with the presence of axillary node metastasis.


A statistically significant association was observed between cytologic and histologic grades (p < 0.0005) and between cytologic grade and presence of axillary metastasis (p < 0.0005). Similarly, cell dissociation (p < 0.0005), cell uniformity (p = 0.0010) and the appearance of nuclear margins (p < 0.0005) all displayed a positive correlation with regional metastasis.


Cytologic grade may provide relevant information on the aggressiveness of invasive ductal breast carcinoma and could be a useful parameter to take into consideration when selecting neoadjuvant therapy.

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