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An Algorithmic Approach to Spindle Cell Lesions of the Breast

Varma, Sonal MD; Shin, Sandra J. MD

Advances In Anatomic Pathology: March 2013 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 95–109
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3182862846
Review Articles

Spindle cell lesions arising in the breast represent reactive, benign, and malignant tumors with overlapping morphologic, clinico-radiologic, and immunohistochemical characteristics. Moreover, common entities comprising this subset are usually uncommon entities in overall prevalence. The combination of such diagnostic “disadvantages” can make the practicing pathologist feel uncertain from the onset of encountering such a case. We hope to dispel some of this discomfort by delineating a simple algorithm that provides structure and direction to the diagnostic work-up. Finally, we provide short summaries of the most commonly encountered mammary spindle cell lesions.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

All figures can be viewed online in color at

Reprints: Sandra J. Shin, MD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Starr 1031D, NYPH-WCMC, 525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065 (e-mail:

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.