Predictors of positive margins after local excision of ductal carcinoma in situ

Am J Surg. 2001 Feb;181(2):91-5. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(00)00572-9.


Background: This study aimed to examine the association between clinicopathologic parameters and positive margins in women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) treated by breast-conserving surgery (BCS).

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic data of 100 women who had undergone BCS for DCIS in our center.

Results: Sixty-seven percent of patients presented via breast screening and 55% of all cases were diagnosed preoperatively on fine needle aspiration cytology ([FNAC] ie, C5). Overall, 45% of patients had clear margins after initial local excision. Positive margins showed a nonsignificant trend of association with distribution of microcalcifications (MCC), nonconsultant operating surgeon, inconclusive preoperative FNAC, presence of necrosis, and low specimen weight. There was a highly significant association between low grade DCIS (P = 0.003) and incomplete excision. There was no significant association with age, associated invasive focus, morphology of MCC, or with mode of presentation.

Conclusion: Positive margins after local excision of DCIS are significantly associated with low nuclear grade, and preoperative determination of nuclear grade by core biopsy may have surgical implications.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy, Segmental
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies