Tubulolobular carcinoma of the breast: clinical, mammographic and sonographic findings.

Research paper by Işil I Günhan-Bilgen, Ayşenur A Oktay

Indexed on: 19 Aug '06Published on: 19 Aug '06Published in: European Journal of Radiology


To determine and quantitate radiologic characteristics of tubulolobular carcinoma of the breast and to report clinical and pathologic findings.A retrospective review of records of 2872 women who received a diagnosis of breast carcinoma between January 1988 and January 2006 revealed 26 histopathologically proven tubulolobular carcinoma of the breast. Analysis included history; findings at physical examination, mammography, and sonography (US) at the time of diagnosis and in postoperative follow-up, and histopathological results.At physical examination, palpable mass was present in 85% (n=22) of the patients. The mammographic findings were mass in 17 (65%), asymmetric focal density in 2 (8%), architectural distortion in 2 (8%) and negative mammograms in 5 (19%) of the 26 patients. US depicted 25 masses in 24 patients, all of which were hypoechoic, with spiculated (n=13) or microlobulated (n=12) margins. The cancer was clinically occult in 12% (n=3), mammographically occult in 19% (n=5), and radiologically occult in 4% (n=1) of the patients. Histologically, the mean size of the tumor was 1.7cm and 18 (69%) patients were node negative.Tubulolobular carcinoma of the breast usually manifests clinically as a firm, immobile mass and mammographically as a spiculated or ill-defined, irregular, isodense mass without microcalcifications. Common findings on sonography include a homogeneously hypoechoic, spiculated or microlobulated mass with posterior acoustic shadowing or normal acoustic transmission. Tubulolobular carcinoma should be included in the differential diagnosis for breast masses with these imaging features.