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Acta Cytol. 2008 Nov-Dec;52(6):681-6.

Fine needle aspiration cytology of breast masses in children and adolescents: experience with 1404 aspirates.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, and Cytology Laboratory, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Safat, Kuwait.



To study the distribution and efficacy of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in the diagnosis of breast lesions in pediatric and adolescent patients.


From January 1993 to December 2006, the cytology reports of 1404 breast aspirates (178 males and 1226 females) performed on children and adolescents (ranging from 1 to 21 years) were reviewed. Of these 41, 179, 506 and 678 aspirates belonged to the age group 1-<12, 12-<16, 16-< 19 and 19-21 years, respectively.


The morphologic spectrum seen in females was inflammatory lesions (4%), benign ductal cells (20%), ductal hyperplasia (0.6%), papillary lesions (0.7%), benign neoplasms (69%), suspicious cytology (0.3%) and cancer (0.3%). Of the benign neoplasms, 98% (831 of 851) were fibroadenomas, with 12 cases of phyllodes (benign), 5 cases of lipoma and 3 cases of adenoma. There were 3 cases of malignancy (2 adenocarcinoma and 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma). Only 3% of the male breast aspirates provided a diagnostic challenge, while 89% of them showed benign ductal cells.


FNAC of children and adolescent breast masses is helpful and can reduce the need for open surgery to prevent later deformity. The aspirates are mostly benign and can be managed conservatively.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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