Hyaline fibrous involution of breast lobules: a histologic finding associated with germline BRCA mutation

Hee Eun Lee, Muhammad Arshad, Rushin D. Brahmbhatt, Tanya L. Hoskin, Stacey J. Winham, Marlene H. Frost, Derek C. Radisky, Lori A. Denison, Amy C. Degnim, Daniel W. Visscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We describe the histology and the frequency of a histologic entity that we term “hyaline fibrous involution”, which is characterized by symmetric and regular deposition of basal lamina-like periacinar hyaline material in association with atrophic epithelium, in breast samples from patients with either benign breast disease or germline BRCA mutation. Women with germline BRCA mutation (n = 93) who underwent prophylactic mastectomy (BRCA group) were compared to an age-matched sample of women who underwent biopsy for benign breast disease (n = 93). Median age was 45 years (range, 25–72 years). A single H&E section of each subject’s benign breast tissue was reviewed. The total number of terminal duct lobular units and the number of terminal duct lobular units with hyaline fibrous involution were recorded for each case. The presence of any hyaline fibrous involution lobules and the within-sample proportion of hyaline fibrous involution lobules relative to total lobules were compared between groups. Presence of any hyaline fibrous involution was significantly more frequent in the BRCA group compared to the benign breast disease group, 47% vs. 15% (p < 0.0001, adjusted for total lobules). In women with any hyaline fibrous involution lobules, these unusual lobules were similarly rare in both groups, with median proportion of hyaline fibrous involution-positive lobules relative to all lobules of 0.03 in BRCA specimens (n = 44) and 0.03 in the benign breast disease group (n = 14). Within the BRCA group, frequency of any hyaline fibrous involution present was significantly higher in the perimenopausal age group (45–55 years: 63%) compared to other age groups (<45 years, 44%; >55 years, 15%; p = 0.05 and p = 0.02, respectively). Increased presence of hyaline fibrous involution in the setting of BRCA mutation suggests that it may represent a pathologic entity, possibly reflecting abnormal involution or an abnormal response to DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1270
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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