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J Cytol. 2019 Jul-Sep;36(3):142-145. doi: 10.4103/JOC.JOC_197_18.

Cytological Correlates of Axillary Nodal Involvement in Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of Breast.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Base Hospital and ACMS, Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India.
2
Department of Laboratory Services, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Abstract

Context:

Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) plays an important role in the diagnosis of breast carcinoma. However, its role as a prognostic tool needs to be explored. This can be achieved by studying its correlation with an established prognostic marker such as axillary nodal metastasis.

Aims:

This study was undertaken to correlate the cytological features of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of breast with axillary lymph node status.

Settings and Design:

Tertiary care hospital, retrospective analytical study.

Materials and Methods:

The study group included 150 cases of IDC of breast diagnosed on FNAC, who had subsequently undergone modified radical mastectomy. Cytologic grades were assigned as per Robinson's grading system. Histopathological sections of axillary lymph nodes were assessed for metastasis.

Statistical Analysis Used:

The cytologic grade and each feature of the cytologic grade were correlated with the lymph node metastasis using χ2 test. Values of P < 0.05 were considered significant.

Result:

A statistically significant correlation was noted between cytologic grade of tumor and axillary lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05). In addition, a positive correlation was found between two of the individual features of cytologic grade, namely, nuclear size and cell uniformity with axillary lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

Robinson's cytologic grade of breast carcinoma correlates well with the presence of axillary lymph node metastasis and hence can be used as a prognostic tool. As there is an increasing trend toward conservative approach to management of breast carcinoma, patients receive preoperative neoadjuvant therapy which may alter the nodal status on the resected specimen. Hence, a high cytological grade of primary tumor, as assessed on FNAC before initiation of therapy, should alert the treating team of the possibility of axillary lymph nodal metastasis.

KEYWORDS:

Axillary nodal metastasis; Robinson's grading system; fine needle aspiration cytology; invasive duct carcinoma

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