A morphologic and morphometric study of cells from colloid carcinoma of the breast obtained by fine needle aspiration. Distinction from other breast lesions.Acta Cytol. 1987 Nov-Dec; 31(6):742-50.AC
Morphologic and morphometric studies were carried out on eight cases of pure and mixed colloid carcinoma of the breast initially diagnosed by fine needle aspiration (FNA). Key morphologic features included (1) cellular smears, (2) single cells, loose aggregates and cohesive groups of cells bathed in a mucinous background, (3) single cells displaying nuclear eccentricity and (4) little variation in nuclear size or shape, with bland-to-accentuated chromatin and rare nucleoli. These morphologic features are compared with those observed in pregnancy adenoma, lobular carcinoma, fibroadenoma, ductal carcinoma and medullary carcinoma. A morphometric study employing the major and minor axes of the nucleus, its axis product and axis ratio was also performed. Statistical treatment confirmed that the nuclear axis product (a size factor) distinguished colloid carcinoma from the other breast lesions, except the small-cell type of ductal carcinoma. Furthermore, the nuclear axis ratio (a shape factor) discriminates pregnancy adenoma and small-cell ductal carcinoma from the other breast lesions studied. By combining morphologic and morphometric criteria, one can specifically separate colloid carcinoma from the other breast lesions when examining smears obtained by FNA. Since colloid carcinoma is usually composed of cells with a relatively benign-appearing cytomorphology, the importance of recognizing this entity in fine needle aspirates is emphasized.