Fine-needle aspiration cytology of medullary breast carcinoma: Report of two cases and review of the literature with emphasis on differential diagnosis

Melinda M. Racz, Rodney F. Pommier, Megan L. Troxell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Medullary carcinoma is a rare variant of breast carcinoma with a relatively good clinical prognosis as strictly defined. Characteristic features on fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) allow medullary carcinoma to be considered in the cytologic differential diagnosis. We present two FNAC cases with such features, including high cellularity with clusters and single intact malignant cells, bizarre stripped nuclei with prominent nucleoli in a lymphoplasmacytic background, and illustrate one case in liquid-based preparation. Surgical excision revealed that one patient had medullary carcinoma, while the second patient had high-grade infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Breast FNAC samples with syncytial fragments, bizarre nuclei with prominent nucleoli, and a chronic inflammatory infiltrate should raise the possibility of medullary carcinoma. However, the differential diagnosis also includes high-grade ductal carcinoma, lymphoma, or metastasis to breast or intramammary lymph nodes; thus, histopathologic analysis is required for definitive diagnosis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)313-318
    Number of pages6
    JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
    Volume35
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 2007

    Keywords

    • Breast carcinoma
    • Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC)
    • Liquid-based preparation (LBP)
    • Medullary carcinoma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Histology

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