Physician Photo

Elena F. Brachtel, MD

Assistant Pathologist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Brachtel is a specialist in breast pathology and cytopathology. She is interested in digital imaging, and the development of computational tools to aid diagnosis.

Department of Pathology


  • Cancer Center
  • Breast Evaluation
  • Breast Cancer
Clinical Interests
Breast pathology
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, University of Hamburg Faculty of Medicine
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Anatomic Pathology, American Board of Pathology
Cytopathology, American Board of Pathology
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients


Dr. Brachtel received her MD degree from the University of Hamburg Medical School, Hamburg, Germany. After her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Paul Racz at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, she worked as a house officer in England in internal medicine and surgery, before entering a residency in pathology at the University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. before completing a residency in anatomic pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in cytopathology. Her areas of expertise are breast pathology and cytopathology, with a special interest in digital imaging.


Dr. Brachtel's current research involves projects on the pathology of breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 3D imaging of breast cancer, and breast cytology. She is principal investigator of the Massachusetts General Hospital site in a multicenter clinical trial to test a molecular assay for diagnosis of cancers of uncertain primary, and is collaborating in translational research. Other research interests include:

  • Involvement of the nipple in breast cancer

  • Role of BTG2 in human breast cancer

  • Digital imaging in breast cancer diagnosis

  • Pathologic changes in breast cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy


View my most recent publications at PubMed

  1. Lumpectomy specimen margins are not reliable in predicting residual disease in breast conserving surgery. Tang R, Coopey SB, Specht MC, Lei L, Gadd MA, Hughes KS, Brachtel EF, Smith BL. Am J Surg. 2014 Dec 23. pii: S0002-9610(14)00649-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2014.09.029. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Computational pathology to discriminate benign from malignant intraductal proliferations of the breast. Dong F, Irshad H, Oh EY, Lerwill MF, Brachtel EF, Jones NC, Knoblauch NW, Montaser-Kouhsari L, Johnson NB, Rao LK, Faulkner-Jones B, Wilbur DC, Schnitt SJ, Beck AH. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 9;9(12):e114885. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114885. eCollection 2014.
  3. Interinstitutional whole slide imaging teleconsultation service development: assessment using internal training and clinical consultation cases. Jones NC, Nazarian RM, Duncan LM, Kamionek M, Lauwers GY, Tambouret RH, Wu CL, Nielsen GP, Brachtel EF, Mark EJ, Sadow PM, Grabbe JP, Wilbur DC.Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2015 May;139(5):627-35. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2014-0133-OA. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Pathology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-726-3980
Phone 2: 617-724-1420
Fax: 617-724-6564