Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Breast Imaging - Pictorial Essay

Papillary lesions of the breast: imaging findings and diagnostic challenges


Department of Diagnostic Imaging National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.


Department of Diagnostic Imaging tional Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.


Department of Pathology, National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.


Department of Oncologic Imaging , National Cancer Centre, Singapore, Singapore.

Diagn Interv Radiol 2013; 19: 471-478
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2013.13041
Read: 814 Downloads: 491 Published: 03 September 2019


Papillary breast lesions encompass a wide spectrum of pathologies ranging from benign lesions, such as solitary intraductal papilloma, to the uncommon papillary carcinoma. These lesions have various clinical presentations and diverse radiological features. Differentiating benign and malignant papillary lesions based on imaging features may often be difficult. Other benign and malignant pathologies can also mimic papillary lesions on imaging, and tissue diagnosis is essential. Imaging plays an important role in lesion identification, assessment of extent, tissue sampling, and follow-up. Surgical excision has been recommended for all papillary lesions due to an increased incidence of high-risk lesions and neoplasia even with percutaneous, biopsy-proven benign papillomas. This review looks at papillary breast lesions from the radiologists’ standpoint and discusses the clinical, imaging, and pathological features of these lesions, as well as the role of imaging in their evaluation.

EISSN 1305-3612