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January 2003
Feature Story

Breast carcinoma and FNA biopsy

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Young NA, Mody DR, Davey DD. Diagnosis and subclassification of breast carcinoma by fine-needle aspiration biopsy: results of the Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Nongynecologic Cytopathology. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2002; 126: 1453–1457.

This paper reports the interpretive performance of malignant breast fine-needle aspirations in the CAP Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Nongynecologic Cytopathology for the year 2000. Based on 1,642 laboratory responses for malignant breast FNAs in the program, sensitivity for the diagnosis of malignancy was 94 percent. However, performance was not as good for subclassification of the types of breast carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma had the best performance with 65 percent, whereas lobular, medullary, and mucinous carcinomas were accurately subtyped by, respectively, 20.3 percent, 11.9 percent, and 27.2 percent of respondents. Hence, despite well