Papillary lesions of the breast discovered on percutaneous large core and vacuum-assisted biopsies: reliability of clinical and pathological parameters in identifying benign lesions

Itamar Ashkenazi, Karen Ferrer, Marin Sekosan, Elizabeth Marcus, Jeff Bork, Tamer Aiti, Ron Lavy, Howard A. Zaren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


Background: A review of the literature reveals conflicting evidence on whether core biopsy, complemented with concordant imaging, is sufficient in differentiating benign from malignant papillary lesions. Our objective was to evaluate whether in our patient population, commonly used clinical and pathological parameters could predict benignity, thus eliminating the need to proceed with excision. Methods: A retrospective review of clinical variables and pathologic slides of 39 patients in whom both core biopsy and excisional biopsy were available for evaluation. Results: Excision revealed malignancy in 44%. Risk factors for malignancy, palpability, size, or Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (American College of Radiology, Reston, VA) did not help differentiate benign from malignant disease. Younger age and core biopsies revealing minimal or no atypia were predictive of benignity. However, 4 (25%) of 20 patients whose core biopsies were classified as probably benign were found to have malignancy on excision. Conclusions: Caution should be used in recommending nonoperative management after a core biopsy revealing a papillary lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007



  • Breast core biopsy
  • Papillary lesion
  • Papilloma
  • Percutaneous breast biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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