Cautery artifact in breast
Editor: Hind Nassar, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 26 September 2012, last major update April 2010
Copyright: (c) 2002-2010, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
● Electrocautery instruments reduce bleeding and the risk of hematoma
● Radiofrequency ablation may be used for local destruction of tumor cells (Int J Clin Pract 2008;62:816)
● Thermal distortion may make it difficult to (a) distinguish hyperplasia from DCIS, (b) assess histologic grade, (c) assess margin status, or (d) interpret immunostaining, particularly for hormone receptors (Ann Surg 1986; 204: 612)
● Parallel linear cracks, blurred cell outlines, hyperchromatic nuclei
● Specimen may be difficult to interpret
AFIP Fig 590 - Parallel linear cracks Blurred cell outlines, hyperchromatic
typify cautery artifact nuclei and parallel linear cracks
Other - Epithelial distortion (fig 9A, 9B) Artifact may make specimen uninterpretable
● May be falsely Congo Red positive (Rom J Morphol Embryol 2009;50:203)
● Post-laser treatment: Am J Surg 2001;182:384
End of Breast-nonmalignant > Procedures > Cautery artifact in breast
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