Breast - nonmalignant
Core biopsy of breast lesions

Author: Hind Nassar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 August 2018, last major update April 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Core biopsy [title] of breast lesions [title]

Cite this page: Nassar, H. Core biopsy of breast lesions. website. Accessed November 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
Core biopsy versus fine needle aspiration biopsy
Core biopsy is favored over fine needle aspiration because core biopsy:
Technical details
False negatives
  • Radiologic - histologic correlation: must determine if histologic results provide a sufficient explanation for the imaging features - if not, lesion may not have been adequately sampled
  • Most false negatives are due to radiologic - histologic discordance and are discovered immediately (Eur Radiol 2010;20:782, Eur J Cancer 2010;46:1835)
  • Follow up imaging is recommended, even in patients with concordant benign findings (Radiographics 2007;27:79)
Reporting system of UK National Health Service Screening Programme
  • B1: normal tissue / inadequate sample (comment on microcalcifications and specimen adequacy)
  • B2: benign lesion (specify)
  • B3: uncertain malignant potential (includes radial scar, some papillary lesions, ADH, lobular neoplasia)
  • B4: suspicious of malignancy (suggestive but not diagnostic due to scanty material or artifacts)
  • B5: malignant; specify if invasive or not, if possible; indicate grade of DCIS
  • References: J Clin Pathol 2004;57:897
Diagrams / tables

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Microscopic (histologic) images

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Displaced epithelial cells; #2 - intracystic papillary carcinoma

Core biopsy with atypical hyperplasia (various)

Invasive lobular carcinoma

Detached clusters
of ductal carcinoma
in situ from
pre-existing ducts