Papillary carcinoma
Solid papillary carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 January 2012

Minor changes: 16 April 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Solid papillary carcinoma [title]

Dina Kandil, M.D.
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Cite this page: Kandil D. Solid papillary carcinoma. website. Accessed April 19th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Also called neuroendocrine DCIS
  • Uncommon (2% of breast cancer)
  • Age 60+ years
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Circumscribed, large cellular nodules separated by bands of dense fibrosis
  • Network of fibrovascular cores, but discrete papillae are not identified
  • Solid growth with cellular streaming and low grade, ovoid or spindled cells, resembling usual ductal hyperplasia
  • Cells may have endocrine features with granular eosinophilic cytoplasm and fine chromatin
  • May have pseudorosettes with palisading around small vascular spaces
  • Often mitotic figures
  • May have intracytoplasmic and extracellular mucin
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Inconspicuous fronds centrally

Images hosted on other servers:

Tumor cells in cords
and festoons, with well
defined fibrovascular
septa and vascular cores

Cytology description
  • Malignant features include hypercellularity, highly discohesive clusters, numerous isolated cells and severe overcrowding
  • Benign features include small and bland nuclei, low nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio and inconspicuous nucleoli (Diagn Cytopathol 2007;35:417)
Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
  • LCIS: no fibrovascular septa, no papillary features
  • Metastatic carcinoid: clinical history of primary, may not be papillary, usually ER negative
  • Solid variant of adenoid cystic carcinoma: biphasic with small inconspicuous intercalated ducts mixed with myoepithelium and small collagenous spherules
  • Usually ductal hyperplasia involving a papilloma: no atypia, mosaic staining pattern with CK5/6+
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