Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-45

Fine needle aspiration cytology of tubular and tubulolobular breast carcinoma - A report of three cases

1 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Gita Jayaram
Department of Pathology, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lampur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Tubular carcinoma (TC) and tubulolobular carcinoma (TLC) are uncommon types of breast carcinoma that behave less aggressively than invasive ductal and lobularcarcinoma. Theiroften bland cytological features sometimes make it difficult to recognize these lesions as malignant on fine needle aspiration (FNA) smears. FNA smears from two cases of TC and one case of TLC were reviewed. Cellularity varied from mild to high and a mixed tubular-acinar and dissociated pattern of cells was seen. Small clusters of cells with occasional clusters showing angulated ends were seen in all three cases. Tumor cells were small or intermediate-sized with high nuclear:cytoplasmic ratios. Nuclei were round or oval and vesicular with occasional micronucleoli. Mitotic activity was low. A cytologic diagnosis of “consistent with invasive breast carcinoma” was made in all three cases. TCs and TLCs manifest a tubular-acinarpattern of small or intermediate-sized cells on cytological smears. A characteristic feature is the presence of glands with pointed (arrowhead) pattern. Dissociated cells may be present in fair numbers, especially in TLC. Features such as cell dissociation, high nuclear:cytoplasmic ratio and mild pleomorphism are helpful in recognizing these lesions as malignant.

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