Radial Scar at Percutaneous Breast Biopsy That Does Not Require Surgery

Rachelle Y. Leong, Manpreet K. Kohli, Nebraz Zeizafoun, Amy Liang, Paul I. Tartter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background Surgical excision is currently recommended after pathologic radial scar is found on breast core needle biopsy because surgical upgrade to carcinoma is not uncommon. The goal of our study was to identify the true pathologic upgrade rate for a “pure” radial scar, those without associated proliferative lesion, based on indication for biopsy, biopsy type, and needle size. Study Design The pathology database of Continuum Health Partners was searched for the terms radial scar and radial sclerosing lesion, from January 2007 to December 2015. From review of 1,513 pathology reports, 292 cases of core biopsies without malignancy were identified. Age, indication for biopsy, type of biopsy, and excisional pathology were obtained. Data were then analyzed using SPSS. Results Two hundred nineteen (75%) of the 292 core biopsies showed pure radial scar without associated proliferative lesion, and 161 (74%) of these patients had surgical excision. Only 1 of these patients had disease that was upgraded to ductal carcinoma in situ—a 2-mm focus located 5 mm away from the radial scar biopsy cavity. This patient also had residual calcifications on mammography after the stereotactic biopsy. Six additional malignant upgrades were found in patients who had radial scar associated with atypical ductal hyperplasia (n = 5) or lobular neoplasia (n = 1) on needle biopsy. Conclusions Surgical excision is unnecessary when radial scar is found at percutaneous needle biopsy without an associated proliferative lesion. Surgical excision is still indicated when radial scar is associated with atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-716
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


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