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Cancer. 2009 Jul 1;115(13):2837-43. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24321.

Excision is indicated for intraductal papilloma of the breast diagnosed on core needle biopsy.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.



Although it has been accepted that intraductal papillomas with atypia or malignancy diagnosed on core needle biopsy require surgical excision, the management of pure intraductal papillomas has been controversial. Because some series reported a small but definite incidence of atypia or malignancy, whereas others claimed that radiologic follow-up was adequate, this study evaluated results of excision of all pure intraductal papillomas diagnosed on core needle biopsy at this institution.


By using computerized pathology files from January of 2000 to December of 2004, 200 cases of intraductal papillomas on core needle biopsy were identified. Information regarding excision was available in 104 cases. All specimens were reviewed to confirm both the diagnoses as well as the presence of biopsy site changes in excision specimens, and the findings were correlated with radiologic data.


The age of the patients ranged from 25 to 82 years (mean, 55.5). The diagnoses on excision were as follows: intraductal papillomas = 71 cases (68.3%), no residual intraductal papillomas = 16 (15.3%), atypical duct hyperplasia = 8 (7.7%), ductal carcinoma in situ = 6 (5.8%), and invasive carcinoma = 3 (2.9%). In cases with atypia or malignancy, these findings were adjacent to but not in the biopsy site. In cases with atypical duct hyperplasia or ductal carcinoma in situ, a spectrum of histologic changes ranging from florid to atypical duct hyperplasia (14 cases), to ductal carcinoma in situ (6 cases) were present, all involving intraductal papillomas.


The upstage rate of pure intraductal papillomas on core needle biopsy to atypia or malignancy on excision was 16.4%. Because of sampling error and the close proximity of atypia or malignancy to the intraductal papillomas (suggesting precancerous potential), excision was recommended of these lesions diagnosed on core needle biopsy. Close radiologic-pathologic correlation was important in the evaluation of these lesions.

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