Microinvasive ductal carcinoma in situ: clinical presentation, imaging features, pathologic findings, and outcome

Eur J Radiol. 2010 Jan;73(1):102-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.09.037. Epub 2008 Nov 21.


Objective: The purpose of our study was to describe the clinical features, imaging characteristics, pathologic findings and outcome of microinvasive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCISM).

Materials and methods: The records of 21 women diagnosed with microinvasive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCISM) from November 1993 to September 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. The clinical presentation, imaging and histopathologic features, and clinical follow-up were reviewed.

Results: The 21 lesions all occurred in women with a mean age of 56 years (range, 27-79 years). Clinical findings were present in ten (48%): 10 with palpable masses, four with associated nipple discharge. Mean lesion size was 21mm (range, 9-65mm). The lesion size in 62% was 15mm or smaller. Mammographic findings were calcifications only in nine (43%) and an associated or other finding in nine (43%) [mass (n=7), asymmetry (n=1), architectural distortion (n=1)]. Three lesions were mammographically occult. Sonographic findings available in 11 lesions showed a solid hypoechoic mass in 10 cases (eight irregular in shape, one round, one oval). One lesion was not seen on sonography. On histopathologic examination, all lesions were diagnosed as DCISM, with a focus of invasive carcinoma less than or equal to 1mm in diameter within an area of DCIS. Sixteen (76%) lesions were high nuclear grade, four (19%) were intermediate and one was low grade (5%). Sixteen (76%) had the presence of necrosis. Positivity for ER and PR was noted in 75% and 38%. Nodal metastasis was present in one case with axillary lymph node dissection. Mean follow-up time for 16 women was 36 months without evidence of local or systemic recurrence. One patient developed a second primary in the contralateral breast 3 years later.

Conclusion: The clinical presentation and radiologic appearance of a mass are commonly encountered in DCISM lesions (48% and 57%, respectively), irrespective of lesion size, mimicking findings seen in invasive carcinoma. Despite its potential for nodal metastasis (5% in our series), mean follow-up at 36 months was good with no evidence of local or systemic recurrence at follow-up. Knowledge of these clinical and imaging findings in DCISM lesions may alert the clinician to the possibility of microinvasion and guide appropriate management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography