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Am J Clin Pathol. 1991 Feb;95(2):157-65.

Cytologic identification of clinically occult proliferative breast disease in women with a family history of breast cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.


A cytologic method for sampling the normal breast by fine-needle aspiration (FNA) was used to determine the frequency of clinically inapparent proliferative breast disease (PBD) in women with family histories of breast cancer. The authors attempted to obtain specimens from each quadrant of both breasts in 51 female first-degree relatives of breast cancer patients. The study group had no detectable masses by physical examination or mammography. Samples were prepared on membrane filters, Papanicolaou stained, and evaluated cytomorphologically. Three hundred seventy-eight of 408 (92.6%) possible quadrants were sampled; cellular material was obtained from 290 (76.7%) quadrants. PBD was identified in 20 of the 51 women (39.2%). When epithelium was obtained, nuclear area, perimeter, and diameter were measured with the use of computerized image analysis. Nuclei in samples containing atypical hyperplasia showed significant differences in these parameters when compared with cells from samples containing normal epithelium or benign hyperplasia. The authors' findings indicate that FNA sampling and computerized image analysis are useful in the detection and characterization of clinically inapparent PBD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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