Paired ductal lavage and fine-needle aspiration specimens from patients with breast carcinoma

Edi Brogi, Mara Jo Miller, Chiara Casadio, Britt Marie Ljung, Leslie Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ductal lavage (DL) is a new procedure for sampling of the mammary epithelium, but experience with this technique remains limited. We compared the findings in paired DL and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens obtained from patients with breast carcinoma. Four reviewers evaluated all DL samples. Two reviewers also examined the FNA material and compared cellular composition and morphologic findings in paired samples. DL and FNA samples from six patients were satisfactory for evaluation. Two DL samples showed marked atypia, one showed mild atypia, and two were benign; there was no agreement in one case (mild atypia vs. benign). Overall, the atypical cells in DL samples resembled those in the paired FNA material, but low degree of cytologic atypia and relative paucity of atypical cells limited their correct identification. The interpretation of DL samples is more challenging than that of FNA material, but similar criteria apply. To increase the sensitivity of DL, the number of epithelial cells required for a satisfactory sample should be higher than previously set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-375
Number of pages6
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Breast
  • Cytology
  • Ductal carcinoma
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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