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Histopathology. 2008 Jan;52(1):20-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2007.02898.x.

Papillary lesions of the breast: selected diagnostic and management issues.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The assessment and categorization of papillary lesions remains one of the most challenging areas in breast pathology. In this review, we will focus on several diagnostic and management issues related to papillary breast lesions that are frequently encountered in daily practice. These include: (i) the distinctions among papillomas with atypia (atypical papillomas), papillomas with ductal carcinoma in situ, and papillary ductal carcinoma in situ; (ii) recent developments in our understanding of encapsulated ('intracystic') papillary carcinomas and solid papillary carcinomas; and (iii) the impact of core needle biopsy on management decisions and specimen evaluation. The role of immunohistochemistry in the evaluation of these lesions, particularly the role of myoepithelial cell markers, will be emphasized.

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