Significance of Silver Stained Nucleolar Organiser Region (AgNOR) in Fine Needle Aspiration Smears of Breast Lesions


  • Dilnawaz Hussain PG 3rd Year Department of pathology, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College & Research Centre. Author
  • Faiyaz Ahmad PG 3rd Year Department of pathology, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College & Research Centre. Author
  • Seema Awasthi PG 3rd Year Department of pathology, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College & Research Centre. Author
  • Ashutosh Kumar PG 3rd Year Department of pathology, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College & Research Centre. Author
  • Shyamoli Dutta PG 3rd Year Department of pathology, Teerthankar Mahaveer Medical College & Research Centre. Author



Fine needle aspiration, Nucleolar organizer regions, Argyrophilic Nuclear Organizer Region, Malignancy


Background: Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer - related deaths in Asia. The number of intra-nuclear silver stained structures, termed AgNORs, is significantly higher in malignant cells than in normal, reactive or benign cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the AgNOR scores in FNA smears of breast lesions and their correlation with histopathology. Aims & Objective: To establish AgNOR staining as a diagnostic and prognostic tool in management of various breast lesions. Methods: This was a prospective study conducted over a period of 18 months may 2015 to November 2016. A total of 100 cases were included in the study. AgNOR stain was done in both cytology and scoring was done and analysed. Results: In FNAC aspirates, Mean AgNOR count ranged from 5 to 9.9 per high power field with a mean value of 2.888±2.553. The AgNOR dots morphology was homogenous, symmetric with regular contours in FNAC slides of benign breast lesion. In malignant breast lesions, the dots were asymmetric with irregular contours and were aggregated, smaller and more scattered. Conclusions: The present study showed that fine needle aspiration cytology is a useful modality for diagnosis of breast lesions. It has a high concordance with the histopathology . AgNOR count assessment provides a useful objective measure for segregation of different grades of tumor with 100% accuracy for detection of higher grade of lesions, as observed in present study. For differentiation of benign from malignant lesions too it has a high sensitivity as well as specificity. The usefulness of FNAC to evaluate nodal involvement also showed a 90% sensitivity and 95.6% specificity. On the basis of present study, it could be concluded that AgNOR count estimation using fine needle aspiration is a useful method to differentiate and diagnose breast lesions.


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