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Calcification in breast lesions - pathologists' perspective
  1. Gary MK Tse (garytse{at}
  1. Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong
    1. Puay Hoon Tan (gpttph{at}
    1. Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
      1. Amy LM Pang
      1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
        1. Alice PY Tang
        1. Department of Radiology, North District Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
          1. Humairah S Cheung
          1. Department of Radiology, International Islamic University, Kuantan, Malaysia, Malaysia


            Evaluation of calcification in breast lesions is a major assessment criterion for breast mammography. The morphology and the distribution of the calcification have important relation with the histology of the lesions. Radiologically, calcifications can be divided into benign, intermediate concern, and higher probability of malignancy according to the morphology. Pathologically different pathological entities may give rise to different calcifications. Fibrocystic changes may give rise to milk of calcium or teacup type calcification, or small calcifications occurring in a cluster. Fibroadenoma may be associated with large popcorn like calcification, and sclerosing adenosis may have fine, punctate or granular calcifications. Fat necrosis may give rise to egg shell calcification. Precursor malignant lesions give rise to benign to indeterminate type calcifications, and may occasionally be associated with malignant type calcification. For malignant lesions, ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive duct carcinoma may be associated with large irregular, rod or V shaped, pleomorphic or branching type calcifications that follow the distribution of the duct. Furthermore, analysis of the characteristics of the calcifications may help to predict the tumour size, grade and the presence of invasion.

            • breast
            • calcification
            • cancer

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