Percutaneous large-core biopsy of papillary breast lesions

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1999 Feb;172(2):331-7. doi: 10.2214/ajr.172.2.9930777.


Objective: This study was undertaken to assess the accuracy of percutaneous large-core biopsy in evaluating papillary breast lesions.

Materials and methods: A retrospective review of imaging-guided large-core breast biopsy of 1077 consecutive lesions revealed that papillary lesions were diagnosed in 34 (3%) cases. Surgical correlation (n = 22) or minimum 2 years' mammographic follow-up (n = 4) were available for 26 papillary lesions. Mammographic and histologic findings in these 26 cases were reviewed.

Results: Percutaneous biopsy histology had benign findings in nine lesions, atypical in 10, and malignant in seven. Of seven lesions yielding benign papilloma at percutaneous biopsy, none (0%) had carcinoma at surgery or mammographic follow-up. Surgery revealed carcinoma in one of two lesions yielding papillomatosis at percutaneous biopsy. This lesion was a spiculated mass; surgical biopsy, recommended because of mammographic-histologic discordance, revealed a radial sclerosing lesion and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Of 10 papillary lesions with atypical ductal hyperplasia at percutaneous biopsy, surgery revealed DCIS in three (30%). Of seven lesions in which percutaneous biopsy yielded papillary DCIS, surgery revealed DCIS in all seven; three (43%) also had invasive carcinoma.

Conclusion: Among our patients, diagnosis by percutaneous core biopsy of benign papillary lesions proved to be accurate when concordant with imaging findings. Surgical excision was indicated when diagnosis by percutaneous biopsy revealed atypical papillary lesions or papillary DCIS. A larger series with longer follow-up is required to assess the clinical course of benign papillary lesions without atypia that are not excised after percutaneous large-core breast biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle / methods
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary