Infarcted Intraductal Papilloma of the Breast: Cytologic Features With Stage of Infarction

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Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is being employed with increasing frequency for the pre-operative diagnostic workup of breast lesions. Although most cases show morphologic features very characteristic of specific entities, rare lesions with infarcted breast can cause problems in interpretation. We present cytologic findings in seven cases of an infarcted intraductal papilloma of the breast (IDPB) that was diagnosed by FNAC, and we also report the correlation of cytological features and stages of infarcted IDPB. In the early stage of infarction, numerous degenerative cells and necrotic debris were demonstrated. Isolated degenerative cells showed columnar, spindle, polygonal and fiber-like cells, with coagulated and smudged nuclei. Ghost cells were also seen. Extensive necrosis was demonstrated with a few sheets of ductal cells in the mid-stage of infarction. In the late stage of infarction, clusters of fibroblasts, ductal cells and necrotic debris were found. Knowledge of the characteristic cytologic pattern in different stages of infarcted IDPB may be helpful to suggest the probable pre-operative diagnosis of those lesions. Familiarity with this entity is important in preventing misdiagnosis of malignancy.

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