To evaluate the accuracy of touch imprint (TI) cytology of image-directed core needle biopsy (CNB) specimens of nonpalpable breast lesions.
Fifty-two consecutive CNBs from 44 patients were performed under mammographic or ultrasound guidance. Air- dried TIs of CNBs were stained with Diff-Quik. TI cellularity was considered adequate if six or more ductal cell groups were identified. CNBs and TIs were interpreted in a blinded fashion.
TI cellularity was adequate in 37/52 (71%) cases, including 17/20 carcinomas and 20/32 benign lesions. Among 17 carcinomas, TIs were positive in 12, suspicious in 4 and atypical in 1. One case of lactational change was suspicious on TI, and 5/8 fibroadenomas were atypical. No benign lesions were called "carcinoma" on cytology. When lesions categorized as "carcinoma" or "suspicious" were considered positive and those classified as "atypical" or "benign" were scored as negative, TI sensitivity and specificity were 94% and 95%, respectively. When the "atypical" cases were grouped with the positive cases, TI sensitivity was 100%, with 75% specificity.
With satisfactory cellularity, TIs of CNBs are highly accurate. When immediate evaluation of CNB specimens is important, TIs can potentially decrease the number of biopsy passes required and provide preliminary diagnoses.