Preoperative assessment of proliferative activity and hormonal receptor status in carcinoma of the breast: a comparison of needle aspiration and needle-core biopsies to the surgical specimen

Diagn Cytopathol. 1996 Sep;15(3):205-10. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0339(199609)15:3<205::AID-DC6>3.0.CO;2-F.


The applicability and reliability of estimates of proliferative activity in breast carcinomas using fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and needle-core biopsies (NC) was evaluated in 98 breast carcinoma patients. The Ki-67, Estrogen receptor (ER), and progesteron receptor (PR) immunolabelling of FNA and NC was compared with that of the surgical specimen. A statistically significant consistency between labelling was found in the Ki-67-NC (kappa = 0.474), ER-FNA (kappa = 0.318), ER-NC (kappa = 0.518), and PR-FNA (kappa = 0.404) groups. The consistency in the Ki-67-FNA group was less significant (kappa = 0.182), and there was no consistency in the PR-NC group (kappa = 0.062). There was a positive correlation of Ki-67 labelling in FNA and NC biopsies (Spearman rank, rho = 0.4; P = 0.0007), and also in ER labeling (Spearman rank rho = 0.6; P = 0.0001). These results indicate that NC and FNA can be used for preoperative assessment of proliferative activity and hormonal status in breast carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Biopsy, Needle*
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone