Use of radiology for the pathologist in the management of breast lesions

J. M. Guinebretière, V. Becette, C. Hagay, C. Belichard, A. Tardivon, D. Vanel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Today radiology is an essential step in the pathological analysis of breast biopsies. It is determinant at each stage of the management of non palpable lesions, clusters of microcalcifications and opacities, whether this concerns the needle biopsy or the surgical excision. Firstly, an X-ray is necessary to ensure that the core needle biopsy specimen has been adequately sampled and when samples with microcalcifications are selected by the radiologist, management can be more specific and accurate. In the case of surgical specimens, the X-ray confirms the presence of the radiographic abnormality or the clip indicating the site of the surgical excision which guides sampling. Some radiographic features also provide information on underlying pathologies allowing management to be adapted accordingly. Radiographs are also important to ensure that microscopically detected microcalcifications or lesions exactly correspond to the radiographic abnormality in size and location. The paraffin block can also be X-rayed to select those containing microcalcifications for additional slicing. It is also important to identify the presence of modifications caused by the core needle biopsy (fibrosis, haemorrhage and inflammation) and to carefully recognize displacement of epithelial cells and pseudo-emboli resulting from the needle procedure. Such correlation between radiology and pathology is essential so that appropriate management of the specimen can be adapted and to avoid pitfalls arising from pre-operative procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Core needle biopsy
  • Epithelial displacement
  • Management
  • Non palpable breast lesion
  • Radio-histological correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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