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Am J Surg. 2004 Oct;188(4):415-8.

Office-based breast ductoscopy for diagnosis.

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The University of Oklahoma Breast Institute, 925 Stanton L. Young Blvd., Room 2290, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, USA.



Ductoscopy is an evolving technology that has been used primarily and historically in conjunction with open surgical procedures. New technical improvements allow intraductal biopsy and therefore its application in the clinical setting for diagnostic evaluations of the breast. This study looks at the initial use of intraductal biopsy in a variety of settings from an academic university practice to a private single-surgeon office.


This is a multicenter retrospective series of 88 patients undergoing ductoscopy of > or =1 duct for the diagnostic workup of common breast problems. The procedures were done with the patient under local anesthesia, and intraductal biopsy specimens were taken and analyzed as breast cytology samples.


Of the 88 patients undergoing office ductoscopy, nipple discharge was the most common indication (n = 83 patients; 94% to 66% spontaneous and 34% elicited). Fifty-five percent were high risk for breast cancer by history. The majority of patients had normal previous mammograms: 48 Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) 1, 24 BIRADS 2, and 7 BIRADS 3 to 5. The most common finding was papilloma present in 29 (32%) patients by endoscopy. Only 31% of patients had a history of brown or bloody nipple discharge. A wide variety of other endoscopic abnormalities were seen and biopsied. The average number of biopsies per patient was 2 with 18 (20.5%) having severe or malignant atypia. Further follow-up and management of these more concerning abnormalities is currently ongoing.


These results indicate that office ductoscopy with biopsy is both feasible and does identify suspicious or malignant atypia in patients with expressed or spontaneous nipple fluid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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