AIM To retrospectively review the surgical histological findings in all cases where lobular carcinoma in situ(LCIS) was identified on percutaneous core biopsy (CB) performed as part of the Cambridge and Huntingdon breast screening programme. MATERIALS AND METHODS We retrospectively reviewed all the core biopsies performed in our department for screen detected abnormalities over a 5-year period between 1 April 1994 and 31 March 1999. All patients where LCIS was identified on CB were reviewed. As the significance of LCIS on CB was unclear all went on to surgical excision. We reviewed the clinical and imaging findings, biopsy technique and subsequent surgical histology of each patient. RESULTS During the study period 60 769 women were invited for screening, of whom 47 975 attended (attendance rate = 79%). Of these, 2330 (4.9%) were recalled for assessment and 749 (1.6%) underwent CB. A malignant diagnosis was obtained in 311 (42%), 211 invasive and 100 in situ lesions. LCIS was identified on CB in 13 (2%). LCIS was the only lesion identified in seven cases. All seven cases subsequently underwent surgical excision. Surgical histology revealed a single case of LCIS and invasive lobular carcinoma. There were two cases of LCIS and DCIS one with a probable focus of invasive ductal carcinoma. In one case LCIS was identified in association with a radial scar. In three of the seven cases LCIS was the only abnormality on both CB and surgical biopsy. CONCLUSION Our series shows that isolated LCIS on CB following mammographic screening is an infrequent finding, and it may be associated with either an invasive cancer or DCIS. It is therefore advisable that when LCIS is identified on CB, surgical excision of the mammographic abnormality should be performed. Decisions on management should be undertaken in a multidisciplinary setting taking into account clinical and imaging findings.