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Am Surg. 2012 Oct;78(10):1161-5.

Intraductal papillary lesions of the breast: clinical and pathological correlation.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90048, USA.


Papillary lesions of the breast range from a spectrum of benign intraductal papillomas with and without atypia to papillary carcinoma. Distinction between benign and malignant lesions on core needle biopsy (CNB) is difficult without surgical excision. We examined if clinical findings in patients with benign intraductal papillomas (IP) on CNB correlate with pathology at surgical excision. Between 1998 and 2011, 103 patients were identified with a papillary lesion on CNB. Clinical variables were studied to determine if there was clinical correlation with pathological outcomes at final surgical excision. Of the 103 patients, 59 (57%) patients had IP on initial CNB and were included in our analysis. On final pathology, 17 (29%) of these were upstaged to intraductal papilloma with atypia and six (10%) were found to have carcinoma. A clinically palpable mass was the only significant predictor of upstaging to malignancy (P<0.05). No radiographic findings were found to be significant predictors of pathological upstaging. In conclusion, surgical excision is still recommended for benign papillary lesions diagnosed on CNB because the correlation with clinical and radiological findings does not assure benign pathology.

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