Cytologic features of triple-negative breast carcinoma
Cancer Cytopathology, 07/27/2012
Bonzanini M et al. – Although TNBCs embrace a heterogeneous group of tumors, in this study, they exhibited some common cytologic features that can help to distinguish them from other high-grade breast carcinomas in daily practice.Methods
- Fine-needle aspiration cytology samples of 62 TNBCs were compared with samples of 82 hormone receptor-positive, high-grade, invasive carcinomas (HRBC) and with samples of 33 hormone receptor-negative, HER2 positive, invasive carcinomas (HER2BC) for the following cytomorphologic features: cellularity, necrosis, lymphocytes, syncytial clusters, tubular/ductal-like clusters, large bare nuclei, streaming within the clusters, and calcifications.
- Moreover, single cell features, such as cellular borders, cytoplasm, cytoplasmic vacuoles, nuclear pleomorphism, nucleoli, and type of chromatin pattern, were evaluated.
- Descriptive analyses and 2 multivariate regression models were performed to compare TNBC, HRBC, and HER2BC and to identify the cytologic factors that were associated with tumor type.
- TNBCs were more likely to have an abundant necrotic background, many lymphocytes, many syncytial clusters, and ill defined cell borders than non-TNBCs.
- A tubular/ductal pattern was observed only rarely in TNBCs.
- Multivariate logistic analysis indicated a 90.8% probability of identifying TNBC versus HRBC by the following cytologic variables: lymphocytes, ill defined cell borders and syncytial clusters, tubular/ductal clusters, cytoplasmic vacuoles, and cellular pleomorphism; whereas there was a 77.5% probability of identifying TNBC rather than HER2BC by the following variables: cellularity, ill defined cellular borders and syncytial clusters, and tubular/ductal clusters.