A distinct microvascular pattern accompanied by aggressive clinical course in breast carcinomas: a fact or a coincidence?

Pathol Res Pract. 2010 Feb 15;206(2):93-7. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2009.10.004. Epub 2009 Nov 28.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential relationship of microvascular growth patterns with survival in invasive breast carcinomas. Thirty-one invasive ductal carcinoma cases, followed up at least for 38 months, constituted our series. All cases had been studied for ER/PR and HER2/neu expression. Clinicopathological and survival data were obtained from the archives. Tissue sections from all cases were stained with CD34 antibody to highlight the microvascular network and to measure microvessel density (MVD). The cases were then classified according to the dominance of one of the five recognizable microvascular patterns. Cox proportional hazard regression model, Fisher's exact test, and multivariate general linear model (GLM) were used to uncover the effects of the variables, such as nodal status, distant metastasis, angiogenic patterns, and MVD, on survival. There was an association between only one of the microvascular patterns and aggressive clinical course. Increased blood-filled capillaries with some clustering in the tumor might be a predictor of aggressive biological behavior in invasive breast carcinomas. Similar studies investigating larger series are needed before a generalized conclusion can be made.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD34 / biosynthesis
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / blood supply*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Prognosis


  • Antigens, CD34