Atypical ductal hyperplasia in directional vacuum-assisted biopsy of breast microcalcifications: considerations for surgical excision

Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Mar;18(3):752-61. doi: 10.1245/s10434-010-1127-8. Epub 2010 Oct 23.


Background: Our goal was to analyze clinicopathologic features of patients with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) diagnosed on directional vacuum-assisted biopsy (DVAB) targeting microcalcifications to identify factors predicting the presence of carcinoma.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively evaluated the clinical, mammographic, and histologic features of 140 patients with DVAB-diagnosed ADH who underwent either segmental excision (86.4%) or mammographic follow-up (≥2 years; 13.6%). Cases with mass lesions or ipsilateral cancer were excluded.

Results: In 16 cases, carcinoma was found on excision. All cases without excision showed no new abnormalities on mammographic follow-up. Only the amount of calcifications removed (≤95%) significantly correlated with the rate of upgrade of ADH to carcinoma (P = .037). Significant histologic predictors of upgrade to carcinoma included number of terminal duct-lobular units (TDLU; >2) involved (P = .0306), presence of significant cytologic atypia suspicious for intermediate or high-grade carcinoma (P < .0001), and necrosis (P = .0006). Among ADH cases without significant atypia and/or necrosis, the extent of ADH (≤2 vs. >2 TDLU involved) was not a significant predictor of carcinoma (P = 1.0000).

Conclusions: ADH associated with calcifications in the absence of a mass lesion can be categorized into different risk groups using a multidisciplinary approach with correlation of histologic and mammographic findings. ADH lesions with significant cytologic atypia and/or necrosis are most likely to be associated with carcinoma and should be excised. ADH without these features, regardless of extent of involvement, and with >95% removal of the targeted calcifications, is associated with a minimal risk (<3%) of carcinoma and may undergo mammographic follow-up only.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Calcinosis / surgery
  • Carcinoma in Situ / complications
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / complications
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / complications
  • Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Hyperplasia / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Vacuum