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Anticancer Res. 2010 Jun;30(6):2287-90.

Surgical excision for B3 breast lesions diagnosed by vacuum-assisted core biopsy.

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London Breast Institute, The Princess Grace Hospital, 45 Nottingham Place, London W1U 5NY, UK.


The aim of this retrospective study was to assess whether open surgical excision is required following a B3 diagnosis on 11-gauge vacuum-assisted core biopsy (VACB) of radiologically indeterminate breast lesions.


Twenty-four women with a histological diagnosis of the B3 category on VACB of radiologically indeterminate breast lesions were identified over a 3-year period. The VACB procedure was performed under stereotactic (n=21), ultrasound (n=2) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (n=1) guidance using the Suros system. Nineteen patients underwent open surgical excision. The remaining 5 patients who had 'complete' removal of the radiological abnormality using VACB under ultrasound (n=2, papilloma) or stereotactic (n=4, atypical ductal hyperplasia) guidance were followed up clinically and radiologically.


The median patient age was 49 years. The disease status in three patients was upgraded to ductal carcinoma in situ at open surgical excision. The VACB showed atypical lobular hyperplasia in these 3 patients, associated with microcalcification (n=2) or mass lesion (n=1). No single case of upgrading to invasive breast cancer was identified in our series. The remaining patients (16 out of 19) had a benign biopsy. The upgrade to malignancy was significantly associated with the presence of atypical lobular hyperplasia, a BI-RADS category of 4 and incomplete removal of the radiological abnormality by VACB. After a mean follow-up of 18 months, no malignancy was detected in the 5 patients who did not undergo open surgical biopsy.


Open surgical excision is strongly recommended for atypical lobular hyperplasia identified in VACB specimens. VACB can be a safe alternative to surgery in the treatment of B3 lesions in selected cases, providing thorough multidisciplinary discussion has taken place.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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