Breast - nonmalignant
Procedures
Cautery artifact in breast

Author: Hind Nassar, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 25 July 2017, last major update April 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Cautery artifact

Cite this page: Cautery artifact in breast. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastcauteryartifact.html. Accessed October 19th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Electrocautery instruments reduce bleeding and the risk of hematoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation may be used for local destruction of tumor cells (Int J Clin Pract 2008;62:816)
  • Thermal distortion may make it difficult to (a) distinguish hyperplasia from DCIS, (b) assess histologic grade, (c) assess margin status or (d) interpret immunostaining, particularly for hormone receptors (Ann Surg 1986;204:612)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Parallel linear cracks, blurred cell outlines and hyperchromatic nuclei
  • Specimen may be difficult to interpret
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

AFIP fig 590: parallel linear cracks typify cautery artifact

Blurred cell outlines,
hyperchromatic
nuclei and parallel
linear cracks



Images hosted on other servers:

Other: epithelial distortion (fig 9A, 9B)

Extreme cautery artifact in breast tissue; specimen uninterpretable

Artifact may make specimen uninterpretable

Extends > 1 mm
causing distortion
of lobules; invasive
carcinoma or adenosis

Positive stains
Differential diagnosis