Background: Pathologic nipple discharge (PND) is diagnosed clinically and managed by diagnostic duct excision (DDE). Mammary ductoscopy in the office setting may change this standard. We performed a prospective study to assess the utility of office ductoscopy for surgical selection in women with nipple discharge. Methods: Women with nipple discharge meeting at least 2 of 3 criteria of PND (spontaneous, single duct, bloody or serous) underwent office ductoscopy. Those showing papillomatous lesions underwent DDE in the operating room (surgical group, n = 38); if no lesion was present, women were followed clinically (observation group, n = 21). Results: A papillomatous lesion was identified in 79% of women with 3-criteria PND and in 21% with 2 criteria (P = .001). DDE yielded a proliferative lesion in 35 of 38 women (92%). Of the 38, 27 (71%) had papillomata, 2 (5%) had florid hyperplasia, and 6 (16%) had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) on final pathology. Also, 11 women with papilloma and 1 with DCIS presented with 2-criteria PND. Ductoscopy findings were a better predictor of the presence of intraductal neoplasia (area under curve [AUC] 0.9, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.8-0.98) compared with 3-criteria PND (AUC 0.7, 95% CI 0.6-0.8). The 21 women in the observation group did not develop signs of malignancy or need biopsy during a 48-month follow-up period. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that office ductoscopy provides accurate surgical selection of women with nipple discharge and should be considered for women with 2 criteria of PND, and those with negative ductoscopy can be safely observed. These findings need confirmation in a larger study with longer follow-up.
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