Advocating nonsurgical management of patients with small, incidental radial scars at the time of needle core biopsy: A study of 77 cases Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Cicatrix


  • Context .- Radial scars are benign sclerosing lesions that are routinely excised when diagnosed in a needle core biopsy. Optimal management for patients with incidental and small (≤5 mm) radial scars is uncertain. Objective .- To assess pathologic upgrade of radial scars diagnosed in needle core biopsy samples and identify a subset of patients who could benefit from conservative management. Design .- Patients with a diagnosis of radial scar in a needle core biopsy who underwent excision of the biopsied area were identified. Radial scars greater than 5 mm in size and those with coexisting atypia, carcinoma, and papillary lesions were excluded. After histologic-radiographic correlation, rates of pathologic upgrade were assessed. Results .- Seventy-seven radial scars diagnosed in 66 patients were included. Overall, 9 of 77 (12%) showed upgrade to a high-risk lesion (6 lobular carcinoma in situ, 2 atypical ductal hyperplasia, 1 atypical lobular hyperplasia), while none (0%) showed upgrade to invasive carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ. One of 22 incidental radial scars (4.5%) showed upgrade on excision versus 6 of 36 (16.7%) for radial scars considered to be the radiographic target (P = .23). Older age was associated with upgrade (P < .001). Conclusions .- No incidental or small (≤5 mm) radial scars excised revealed invasive carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ on excision. Provided there is good pathologic-radiologic concordance, it appears reasonable for these patients to be managed conservatively.

publication date

  • January 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5858/arpa.2014-0550-OA

PubMed ID

  • 25607999

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1137

end page

  • 42


  • 139


  • 9