Cellular Dyscohesion in Fine-Needle Aspiration of Breast Carcinoma: Prognostic Indicator for Axillary Lymph Node Metastases?

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The role of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) in the diagnosis of breast carcinoma is established. We evaluated whether the degree of cellular dyscohesion and the nuclear grade in FNA material of breast carcinomas are reliable prognostic predictors for ipsilateral axillary lymph node metastasis. FNA specimens from 98 women with infiltrating ductal and infiltrating lobular carcinomas were evaluated by 2 observers for degree of cellular dyscohesion and nuclear grade. Follow-up specimens from lumpectomy and/or mastectomy with axillary dissection were available for each patient. By univariate analysis, degree of cellular dyscohesion and nuclear grade were not predictive of axillary lymph node metastasis regardless of tumor size. High histologic grade, size greater than 2 cm, and patient age younger than 52 years were significant predictors of metastasis. By multivariate analysis, size greater than 2 cm and age younger than 52 years were statistically significant for lymph node metastasis. In contrast with a published study, the results of the present study fail to show cellular dyscohesion in FNA specimens as predictive of lymph node metastasis; however, the scoring method for determining the degree of cellular dyscohesion is reproducible between 2 independent observers.

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