Patient-reported outcomes of ductoscopy procedures for pathologic nipple discharge

M. D. Filipe*, J. M. Simons, L. Moeliker, L. Waaijer, M. R. Vriens, P. J. van Diest, A. J. Witkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Pathologic nipple discharge (PND) is a common complaint often associated with breast cancer. However, when ultrasound and mammography are negative, the chances of malignancy are lower than 5%. Currently, major duct excision and microdochectomy are often recommended to alleviate symptoms and definitely rule out malignancy, but can cause infections and breastfeeding problems. Ductoscopy is a minimally invasive endoscopy technique that allows visualization of the mammary ducts and may not only obviate surgery but also detect malignancy. The aim of this study was to determine quality of life (QOL) after ductoscopy in patients with PND. Materials and methods: All PND patients referred for ductoscopy between 2014 and 2015 to our hospital were included. Ductoscopy procedures were performed under local anaesthesia in the outpatient clinic. Patients were asked to fill out questionnaires (Breast-Q, EQ-5D-5L and SF-36) on the day of ductoscopy, and after 2 weeks, 3 and 6 months. Additionally, we performed reliability analysis to determine if these questionnaires were suitable for PND patients. Results: Fifty consecutive patients underwent ductoscopy of whom 47 patients participated in this study. One domain of SF-36 (vitality) varied significantly over time. Breast-Q, SF-36 and EQ-5D-5L showed that QOL after ductoscopy for PND was unaffected by ductoscopy. Success of the ductoscopy procedure was a significant predictor for satisfaction with the result domain. Conclusion: Ductoscopy is a minimally invasive technique that does not seem to impact QoL of PND patients over time. Breast-Q, SF-36 and EQ-5D-5L seem to be suitable existing QOL tests for PND patients undergoing ductoscopy, whereas SF-36 would require modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalBreast cancer (Tokyo, Japan)
Issue number2
Early online date12 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Ductoscopy
  • Pathologic nipple dischage
  • Quality of life


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