Papillary neoplasms
Encapsulated papillary carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Minor changes: 21 June 2020

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed search: Intracystic papillary carcinoma [title] breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Encapsulated papillary carcinoma. website. Accessed November 23rd, 2020.
  • Also called intracystic papillary ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Rare; usually seen in elderly women
  • 0.5% - 1% of all breast cancers
  • May be associated with conventional DCIS or invasive carcinoma
Clinical features
  • Asymptomatic or presents as breast mass or nipple discharge
  • Benign appearance on imaging; on ultrasonography, pure cyst, mixed image or solid mass
  • Can be divided into pure form and those associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive carcinoma
  • Considered noninvasive or minimally invasive, because there is no infiltrating growth pattern and metastases are rare
  • Traditionally considered to lack a myoepithelial layer (Am J Clin Pathol 2005;123:36), but one study found expression of type IV collagen (Am J Clin Pathol 2009;131:228)
  • More difficult to diagnose preoperatively than other breast tumors (Surg Today 2009;39:5)
  • Pseudoinvasion may be due to prior core biopsy causing epithelial displacement (J Clin Pathol 2002;55:780)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Mural nodule within a large cystic space; may be encapsulated
Gross images

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Intracystic hemorrhagic tumor with invasion

Microscopic (histologic) images

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Papillary tumors

Encapsulated tumor with hemorrhage

Papillary and solid pattern of atypical cells

Core biopsy with luminal calcifications

CK 5 / 6 negative

Pseudoinvasion due to epithelial displacement post biopsy

Positive stains
Negative stains
  • CK 5 / 6, myoepithelial markers except for type IV collagen
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