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Atypical aspirates of the breast: a dilemma in current cytology practice
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  • Published on:
    Corroborating evidence for atypical breast aspirates
    • Julie Weigner, Hospital Scientist - Cytology Pathology North, Hunter, NSW, Australia
    • Other Contributors:
      • Ibrahim Zardawi, Anatomical Pathologist

    Dear Editor
    RE: Atypical aspirates of the breast: a dilemma in current cytology practice. Shuang-Ni Yu, Joshua Li, Sio-In Wong, Julia Y S Tsang, Yun-Bi Ni, Jie Chen, Gary M Tse. J Clin Pathol 2017;0:1–9. doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2016-204138
    We read with interest the findings of Shuang-Ni Yu et al regarding “Atypical aspirates of the breast: a dilemma in current cytology practice” first published on May 29 2017 in Journal of Clinical Pathology.
    Breast fine needle aspiration (FNA) utilisation has been in decline for some time and there are several reasons for the drop in the uptake of cytology in the investigation of breast diseases. Although the main sited reason is increased demand for ancillary tests, greater subjectivity of cytology when compared to histology which is generally regarded as the gold standard, and the unpreparedness of pathologists to provide unequivocal diagnoses not only in the borderline lesions but also in low grade malignancies. The need to provide a consistently high quality service to engender confidence in our speciality has never been greater.
    The probabilistic approach to reporting FNA based on the 5 tier categories (C1 unsatisfactory; C2 benign; C3 atypical/indeterminate; C4 suspicious; and C5 malignant) does provide reliable accurate diagnoses for all categories except C1 unsatisfactory and C3 atypical/indeterminate categories. The C1 category highlights a failed FNA procedure whilst a C3 result indicates some diagnostic un...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.