Pure and mixed mucinous carcinoma of the breast: fine needle aspiration cytology findings and review of the literature
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 377–384, December 2013
How to Cite
Cyrta, J., Andreiuolo, F., Azoulay, S., Balleyguier, C., Bourgier, C., Mazouni, C., Mathieu, M.-C., Delaloge, S. and Vielh, P. (2013), Pure and mixed mucinous carcinoma of the breast: fine needle aspiration cytology findings and review of the literature. Cytopathology, 24: 377–384. doi: 10.1111/cyt.12016
- Issue published online: 19 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Accepted for publication 4 August 2012
- breast cancer;
- fine needle aspiration
J. Cyrta, F. Andreiuolo, S. Azoulay, C. Balleyguier, C. Bourgier, C. Mazouni, M.-C. Mathieu, S. Delaloge and P. Vielh Pure and mixed mucinous carcinoma of the breast: fine needle aspiration cytology findings and review of the literature
Objective: Mucinous (colloid) breast carcinoma accounts for 1–6% of all breast cancer. It comprises pure mucinous tumours and mixed infiltrating ductal carcinomas with a mucinous component. As this latter mixed form has a worse prognosis than pure colloid carcinoma, making this diagnosis on fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) might influence the choice of treatment.
Methods: We report a consecutive series of 22 cases consisting of 17 mixed and five pure mucinous carcinomas diagnosed by cytology and verified on histopathology. Patients underwent FNAC at the one-stop clinic of our institution during a 7-year period of time. Cytological findings were evaluated by a semi-quantitative method and included percentage of smear surface occupied by mucin, shape of cell groupings, size and outline of tumour nuclei as well as presence or absence of nucleolus.
Results: Three of five pure mucinous carcinomas displayed at least two of the following features: abundant mucin, small nuclei and/or regular nuclear outlines. Sparse mucin, large nuclei, irregular nuclear outlines or the presence of nucleoli were found in 7 out of 17 mixed mucinous carcinomas but not in pure tumours.
Conclusion: Cytopathological identification of patients with pure mucinous carcinomas may be performed in a limited number of cases.