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Rare breast neoplasms resembling the tall-cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma have been reported. In addition, papillary carcinoma of the breast occasionally displays nuclear features reminiscent of papillary thyroid carcinoma. In this study, we evaluated 33 intraductal/intracystic papillary carcinomas of the breast for the presence and extent of nuclear overlap, grooves, clearing, and inclusions, as well as features of the tall-cell or columnar-cell variants of papillary thyroid carcinoma. RET rearrangements were assessed in a subset of these cases. Paired probes localizing to the centromeric and telomeric ends of the RET gene on chromosome 10 were used for FISH using a break-apart approach. Single round and nested PCR was performed to detect RET/PTC1, RET/PTC2, RET/PTC3 and ELKS-RET fusion transcripts. Nuclear overlap, grooves, stratification, and clearing were identified in 24 (73%), 14 (42%), 11 (33%), and 9 (27%) cases respectively, whereas nuclear inclusions and 'tall-cell' features were each seen in only one (3%) and two (6%) cases, respectively. Four of 19 tested cases displayed split FISH signals in a low percentage of cells and were considered borderline for RET rearrangement. All 19 tested cases with amplifiable RNA were negative for the four RET fusion transcripts evaluated by RT-PCR. Although papillary carcinomas of breast often display one or more cytoarchitectural features of papillary thyroid carcinoma, there is no evidence that RET rearrangements are involved.