Breast Cytology

  • Gabriela Oprea-IliesEmail author
  • Momin T. Siddiqui
Part of the Atlas of Anatomic Pathology book series (AAP)


Fine needle aspiration (FNA) of breast lesions represents a rapid, minimally invasive procedure to diagnose both benign and malignant conditions. In experienced hands, with the aid of immediate evaluation, this procedure reaches above 97% sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing the wide spectrum of benign and malignant breast lesions. Diagnosis by aspiration is rendered in the setting of the triple test: clinical, imaging, and cytologic data. Reporting of results should follow the guidelines issued by the NCI in 1996. The International Academy of Cytology (IAC) recently took the initiative to revise and standardize reporting of breast FNA.

The FNA specimen is not only used for making the diagnosis. Immediate evaluation improves the potential of making the correct diagnosis and determines optimum sample management by indicating the need for additional tissue and the ancillary tests to be undertaken for an accurate diagnosis, including microbiology for an inflammatory specimen, flow cytometry for a predominantly lymphoid specimen, and breast cancer markers to be performed on the formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimen in cases of carcinoma. In the era of molecular testing and personalized medicine, the tissue obtained by FNA as a fresh specimen or cell block doubtless will be used for additional molecular studies.


Fine needle aspirate (FNA) Fibroadenoma Fibrocystic disease Fat necrosis Lactational changes Granular cell tumor Lipoma Breast granuloma Breast carcinoma Lobular carcinoma Ductal carcinoma Metaplastic carcinoma Apocrine carcinoma Papillary lesion Papillary carcinoma Mucinous carcinoma Tubular carcinoma Hodgkin lymphoma Small-cell carcinoma Adenoid cystic carcinoma of breast Gynecomastia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Weill Cornell MedicineNew YorkUSA

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