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Issues Relating to Lymphovascular Invasion in Breast Carcinoma

Hoda, Syed A. MD*; Hoda, Rana S. MD; Merlin, Scott MD*; Shamonki, Jamie MD*; Rivera, Michael MD*

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: November 2006 - Volume 13 - Issue 6 - p 308-315
doi: 10.1097/01.pap.0000213048.69564.26
Review Articles

Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) by tumor cells is histologically evident in approximately 15% of invasive mammary duct carcinomas and is present in approximately 10% of cases with pathologically negative lymph nodes. LVI is indicative of unfavorable prognosis in the breast cancer—as manifested by increased local failure and reduced overall survival. It is for this reason that LVI is routinely included in the evaluation and reporting of all breast cancers. There are a variety of interpretative difficulties in the histopathologic assessment of LVI, and the clinical implications of any misinterpretation can be profound. This brief review seeks to highlight the difficulties in the evaluation of LVI in breast cancer.

*Department of Pathology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

This is the authors' own work, and has not been supported by any source.

Reprints: Syed A. Hoda, MD, Pathology, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Center, 525 East 68th Street, Mail Room Unit No. 93, New York, NY 10021 (e-mail:

Received for publication August 29, 2006; accepted September 4, 2006

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.