Other nonneoplastic

Secretory change

Last author update: 1 June 2010
Last staff update: 16 December 2021

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pregnancy-like hyperplasia

Hind Warzecha, M.D.
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Cite this page: Warzecha H. Secretory change. website. Accessed September 30th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Pregnancy-like changes in a nonpregnant, nonlactating patient
  • Present in 2 - 3% of breast biopsies
  • Identified in needle localization and core biopsies due to calcifications or presence of a mass
  • Women, mean age 44 years, range 38 - 52 years
  • Not lactating, not pregnant (by definition)
Clinical features
Gross description
  • No gross lesion
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Glands and terminal ducts with little or no secretion
  • Glandular cells are swollen with abundant pale or clear, finely granular or vacuolated cytoplasm
  • Luminal cytoplasmic borders of glandular cells are frayed with small cytoplasmic blebs extending into lumen that may contain nuclei
  • Small, uniform, round and darkly stained nuclei
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Expanded acinar glands

Cells have abundant pale cytoplasm but no secretion


Micropapillary pattern
of columnar cells with
luminal cytoplasmic buds

Images hosted on other servers:

Cells have finely vacuolated cytoplasm

Differential diagnosis
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