Flat epithelial atypia is a common subtype of B3 breast lesions and is associated with noninvasive cancer but not with invasive cancer in final excision histology

Institute of Pathology, Universitätsmedizin Charité Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
Human pathology (Impact Factor: 2.77). 12/2009; 41(4):522-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.humpath.2009.09.005
Source: PubMed


The biological behavior and the optimal management of benign breast lesions with uncertain malignant potential, the so-called B3 lesions, found in breast needle core biopsies is still under debate. We addressed this study to compare histologic findings in B3 needle core biopsies with final excision specimens to determine associated rates of malignancy. Consecutive needle core biopsies were performed in a 3-year period (January 1, 2006-December 31, 2008). Biopsies were image-guided (31 by ultrasound, 85 stereotactic vacuum-assisted, 6 unknown) for evaluation of breast abnormalities. We reviewed 122 needle core biopsies with B3 lesions of 91 symptomatic patients and 31 screen-detected women and compared the B3 histologic subtypes with the final excision histology. A total of 1845 needle core biopsies were performed and B3 lesions comprised 6.6% of all B categories. The most common histologic subtype in biopsies was flat epithelia atypia in 35.2%, followed by papillary lesions in 21% and atypical ductal hyperplasia in 20%. Reports on excision specimens were available in 66% (81 patients). Final excision histology was benign in 73 (90.2%) and malignant in 8 (9.8%) patients (2 invasive cancer, 6 ductal carcinoma in situ). Of all B3 subtypes, atypical ductal hyperplasia and flat epithelial atypia were associated with malignancy, whereas only atypical ductal hyperplasia was accompanied by invasive cancer. Of all lesions, flat epithelial atypia was most frequently found in excision specimens (18%). In our study, flat epithelial atypia and atypical ductal hyperplasia are common lesions of the B3 category in needle core biopsies of the breast. Both lesions are associated with malignancy, whereas only atypical ductal hyperplasia was related to invasive cancer. We conclude that an excision biopsy after diagnosis of flat epithelial atypia is recommended depending on clinical and radiologic findings.

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    • "In our opinion, this high PPV for malignancy could be, at least, partially explained by the inclusion in this category of ADH and FEA. In fact, in a study of B3 lesions that specifically focused on the outcomes of the different lesions grouped as AIDEP, specifically ADH and FEA, the authors report that among these lesions, these are the 2 lesion types that are associated with malignancy and that FEA is very common in B3 lesions excision [14]. In addition, similarly to a previous report [10], AIDEP has been clearly associated with the presence of calcifications in radiographic examination, with calcifications being the radiographic change most consistently associated with malignancy on excision. "
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    ABSTRACT: Core-needle biopsy (CNB) of breast lesions can be classified into 5 categories according to lesion type and associated risk of malignancy. B3 category (lesion of uncertain malignant potential) constitutes a challenging problem in clinical decision, with most ending in excisional biopsy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish the incidence of malignancy on excision biopsy of B3 lesions and assess if subclassification (in B3a and B3b categories) according to the presence of atypia in otherwise B3 lesions better predicts malignancy on excision. Forty-eight cases with diagnosis of B3 lesion on CNB and matched surgical excision specimen were included to evaluate the positive predictive value (PPV) and odds for malignancy in CNB. All cases were further subclassified into B3a and B3b categories. B3 category lesions had an overall PPV for malignancy of 12.5% and significant low odds of malignancy of 0.14. When subclassified, B3b (lesions with atypia) demonstrated a higher PPV for malignancy (36.36%) with a nonsignificant odds. Inversely, B3a (lesions without atypia) demonstrated a PPV for malignancy of only 5.41% and a significant low odds of malignancy of only 0.06. The described low rate of malignancy in some of B3 lesions additionally reinforces the practice of avoiding surgical excision in selected patients and provides data that additionally support B3 lesion subclassification according to the presence of atypia. Subclassification of B3 category can further refine the current classification of associated risk of malignancy with possible implications in clinical management.
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    • "0 (0) 1 (12.5) Noel et al. 2006 [90] ND 62 20 (32.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) Noske et al. 2010 [91] 1,845 43 (2.3) 30 (69.8) 2 (6.7) 0 (0) 2 (6.7) Ingegnoli et al. 2010 [92] "
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    ABSTRACT: Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), flat epithelial atypia (FEA), and lobular neoplasia (LN) form a group of early precursor lesions that are part of the low-grade pathway in breast cancer development. This concept implies that the neoplastic disease process begins at a stage much earlier than in situ carcinoma. We have performed a review of the published literature for the upgrade risk to ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive carcinoma in open biopsy after a diagnosis of ADH, FEA, or LN in core needle biopsy. This has revealed the highest upgrade risk for ADH (28.2% after open biopsy), followed by LN (14.9%), and FEA (10.2%). With LN, the pleomorphic subtype is believed to confer a higher risk than classical LN. With all types of precursor lesions, careful attention must be paid to the clinicopathological correlation for the guidance of the clinical management. Follow-up biopsies are generally indicated in ADH, and if there is any radiological-pathological discrepancy, also in LN or FEA.
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