Breast nonmalignant
Tubular adenosis

Topic Completed: 1 December 2014

Revised: 4 September 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tubular adenosis breast

Jaya Ruth Asirvatham, M.B.B.S.
Julie M. Jorns, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 3,450
Page views in 2019 to date: 3,524
Cite this page: Asirvatham JR, Jorns JM. Tubular adenosis. website. Accessed October 18th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Very rare benign breast lesion of haphazard, elongated tubules that are narrow and noncrowded
  • May mimic invasive carcinoma or coexist with invasive or in situ carcinoma (Am J Surg Pathol 1996;20:46)
  • Coined by Oberman in 1983 (Am J Surg Pathol 1996;20:46) to identify a rare benign lesion that could potentially be mistaken for invasive carcinoma
  • Usually ages 40 - 82 years
  • Benign lesion, premalignant potential yet to be determined
Clinical features
  • Can present as a mass; produced exclusively by tubular adenosis or in association with DCIS or invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Can be incidental
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Overall architecture is haphazard, with elongated branching tubules in different directions, at most vaguely lobulocentric
  • Some tubules extend into fat and mimic carcinoma; however suspicious tubules between normal lobular units are not seen
  • Tubules are generally blunt with occasional angular contours
  • Lumina may be slit-like and collapsed or dilated
  • In cross section, the tubules have a round profile, superficially resembling microglandular adenosis
  • Tubules are lined by bland ductal cells with a myoepithelial layer
  • Tubules contain basophilic or eosinophilic secretions (which may be colloid-like) and microcalcifications
  • Stroma may be sclerotic, cellular or edematous
  • Mitoses are absent
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Two cell layers

Mildly irregular tubules within stroma

Tubules appear to branch in 3 dimensions

Images hosted on other servers:

Features of collagenous spherulosis

Differential diagnosis
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