Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether surgical excision of benign solitary intraductal papillomas (BSIP) diagnosed by core needle biopsy (CNBx) without an associated high-risk lesion and concordant with imaging is justified. Methods: A review of all papillary lesions diagnosed by CNBx from January 2003 to June 2010 was performed. Available histologic and radiologic materials were evaluated in a blinded fashion by three pathologists and three dedicated breast radiologists, respectively, to assess for concordance. The papillary lesions were designated as benign, atypical, or malignant. There were 16 BSIPs excluded because of an adjacent high-risk lesion or same-quadrant ipsilateral cancer. All immediate and delayed excisional specimens were reviewed. Clinical and radiologic data were recorded. Results: A total of 299 papillary lesions diagnosed on CNBx and concordant with imaging were identified. Of these, 240 (80 %) were classified as benign, 49 (16 %) atypical, and 10 (3 %) malignant. After exclusions, 77 of 224 women in our study cohort (34 %) underwent surgical excision with no atypical or malignant upgrades. Of the remaining 147 women diagnosed with a BSIP on CNBx, 47 (32 %) were lost to follow-up and 100 (68 %) were observed. All 100 observed patients had stable imaging findings at follow-up (4.8-93.8 months, mean 36.0 months). Conclusions: The likelihood of diagnosing atypia or malignancy after surgical excision of a BSIP diagnosed on CNBx without associated high-risk lesion or ipsilateral quadrant malignancy is extremely low. For this distinct subset of patients with a BSIP, these data justify close imaging follow-up, rather than surgical excision.
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