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mammary fibrocystic disease

Tuesday 29 May 2007

fibrocystic disease of the breast; diffuse cystic mastopath; fibrosclerosis of breast; chronic cystic mastitis, fibrocystic mastopathy and mammary dysplasia. Bloodgood’s disease, Cooper’s disease, Phocas’ disease, Reclus’ disease, Reclus’ syndrome (after Paul Reclus), Reclus-Schimmelbusch disease, Schimmelbusch disease and Tillaux-Phocas disease.

WKP WebPathology

Definition: The importance of fibrocystic disease lies in its ability to mimic clinical, radiographic, gross, and microscopic features of carcinoma. It is seen most frequently between the ages of 25 and 45 years.

The image shows numerous variably sized cysts surrounded by foci of adenosis. Some of the larger cysts in fibrocystic disease may have a bluish appearance from outside (blue-domed cysts). The cyst lining is flattened or absent in some cases. In the center of this image, cysts are lined by apocrine epithelium.

Apocrine metaplasia is a frequent finding in fibrocystic disease. The lining cells have abundant eosinophilic granular cytoplasm, prominent nucleolus and apocrine snouts. Immunostain for GCDFP-15 is strongly positive. Presence of cytologic atypia in apocrine metaplasia is not a risk factor for carcinoma.

Microcalcifications tend to be less common in fibrocystic disease than in carcinoma. They tend to be coarse and irregular.

Digital case

- JRC:5298 : Mammary fibrocystic disease.
- JRC:5300 : Mammary fibrocystic disease.


- apocrine metaplasia


- trisomy 18 (9614905)
- tetrasomy 18 (9614905)


- WebPathology


- Staats B, Bonk U, Gohla G, Bartnitzke S, Bullerdiek J. Two cases of fibrocystic breast disease with polysomy 18 as the sole clonal cytogenetic abnormality. Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1998 Jun;103(2):91-4. PMID: 9614905