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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 131-135

Cyto-morphologic correlation of equivocal C3 and C4 breast lesions

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ibrahim Yusuf
Department of Pathology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano - 700 001, PMB 3452
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9596.146401

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Background: National Cancer Institute (NCI) formulated a five-tiered system for reporting cytological smears from the breast. Of these, C1, C2 and C5 are usually unequivocal. The equivocal categories C3 (atypical probably benign) and C4 (suspicious probably malignant) need to be evaluated to determine their cyto-morphologic correlation and thus provide useful information on the degree of clinical weight that can be put on them in patient management. Patients and Methods: A retrospective study of cytological smears made from palpable breast lesions performed over a 5-year period from 2008-2012. The C3 and C4 smears were then compared with final histological diagnoses for these categories and their diagnostic value calculated. Result: There were 1,162 smears taken over the study period, and 200 (17.2%) had subsequent histology. Of the 200 smears, 20 were C3 and 27 were designated as C4. Subsequent histology upgraded 7 (35%) of the C3 cases to malignant and 23 (85%) of the 27 C4 cases were malignant. The difference between these two proportions is statistically significant (P < 0.005). The overall Suspicious Rate was 23.5% and C4 reports had a sensitivity of 76.7%, specificity of 76.5%, positive and negative predictive values of 85.2% and 65.0% respectively. Conclusion: A fair degree of clinical reliance can still be placed on cytologically categorized C3 and C4 breast smears. However, the rate of reporting of these categories can be reduced with availability of ancillary radiological techniques such as mammography and ultrasonography.

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