Clinical experience with mammary ductoscopy

Edna K. Valdes, Susan K. Boolbol, Jean Marc Cohen, Ronald Balassanian, Sheldon M. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Most breast cancers begin in the ductal epithelium with normal cells and progress to atypia and finally to carcinoma. Mammary ductoscopy enables one to directly visualize and sample the ductal epithelium and, therefore, identify early changes cytologically. This article describes our initial experience with mammary ductoscopy at Beth Israel Medical Center. Methods: A prospective review of all patients who underwent ductoscopy at Beth Israel Medical Center from November 2001 to February 2004 was performed. The indications for ductoscopy were a persistent nipple discharge, high-risk status, or intraoperative margin assessment in patients undergoing lumpectomy. Results: Seventy-four patients underwent ductoscopic evaluation of 88 ducts. Of the 32 patients who underwent office ductoscopy, 15 were high risk, and 17 had spontaneous nipple discharge. Spontaneous nipple discharge was the indication for ductoscopy in 40 of 42 intraoperative procedures. The remaining two patients underwent ductoscopy for margin assessment during breast conservation, and final pathologic analysis revealed negative margins. Thirty-eight of the 40 patients who had spontaneous nipple discharge had abnormal findings during ductoscopy and therefore underwent ductoscopically guided duct excision. Carcinoma was the final diagnosis in 5 (8.8%) of the 57 patients who were scoped for nipple discharge. Conclusions: Mammary ductoscopy is a potentially useful tool in the evaluation of patients with spontaneous nipple discharge. This is a well-tolerated office procedure with minimal risks and complications. Mammary ductoscopy may have a role in the assessment of high-risk women. Further research is necessary to confirm these potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast endoscopy
  • Fiberoptic ductoscopy
  • Intraductal approach
  • Intraductal carcinoma
  • Mammary ductoscopy
  • Nipple discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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