Ductal Lavage: What We Know and What We Don’t
February 01, 2004
Ductal lavage is a procedure that can improve the stratification ofwomen with clinical evidence of increased breast cancer risk by thecytologic detection of atypia. The relative risk of future breast cancerin women harboring atypia is approximately 3 to 5, as demonstrated instudies of women harboring atypia within direct nipple aspirates, fineneedleaspiration biopsies, and histopathology from surgical specimens.It is intuitively reasonable and biologically plausible that atypia detectedin ductal lavage specimens would be associated with a comparablemeasure of association; however, documentation of this assumptionawaits maturation of prospectively accumulated data. The technologyof the ductal lavage procedure is also a promising translational researchtool, because of the relatively substantial yield of ductal cellularmaterial for analysis via a minimally invasive technique.