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Virchows Arch. 2006 Dec;449(6):609-16. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Discrepancies in the diagnosis of intraductal proliferative lesions of the breast and its management implications: results of a multinational survey.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, Lauder Hall (LH) 222, 310 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


To measure discrepancies in diagnoses and recommendations impacting management of proliferative lesions of the breast, a questionnaire of five problem scenarios was distributed among over 300 practicing pathologists. Of the 230 respondents, 56.5% considered a partial cribriform proliferation within a duct adjacent to unequivocal ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) as atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), 37.7% of whom recommended reexcision if it were at a resection margin. Of the 43.5% who diagnosed the partially involved duct as DCIS, 28.0% would not recommend reexcision if the lesion were at a margin. When only five ducts had a partial cribriform proliferation, 35.7% considered it as DCIS, while if >or=20 ducts were so involved, this figure rose to 60.4%. When one duct with a complete cribriform pattern measured 0.5, 1.5, or 4 mm, a diagnosis of DCIS was made by 22.6, 31.3, and 94.8%, respectively. When multiple ducts with flat epithelial atypia were at a margin, 20.9% recommended reexcision. Much of these discrepancies arise from the artificial separation of ADH and low-grade DCIS and emphasize the need for combining these two under the umbrella designation of ductal intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (DIN 1) to diminish the impact of different terminologies applied to biologically similar lesions.

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