This is part 3 of some common benign causes of breast microcalcification and some less common causes. These are new examples of the conditions in question - more can be found on the relevant 'benign' pages elsewhere on the site and cross-links are given frequently.




See also practice points



Vascular calcs




Mammogram - extensive vascular calcification
Mammogram - extensive vascular calcification complicating renal failure - Courtesy of Jim Walsh & Pat Forrest

Vascular calcification - detail of mammogram above
Detail of mammogram above - Courtesy of Jim Walsh & Pat Forrest

Vascular calc in a core biopsy - specimen x ray   Vascular calc in a core biopsy - H & E
Vascular calc in a core biopsy (example 1) (specimen x ray - left; H&E - right)

'Tramline' vascular calcification - specimen x ray of core biopsy
Vascular calcification (example 2), 'tramline' pattern - specimen x ray

'Tramline' vascular calcification - specimen x ray of core biopsy
Vascular calcification (example 2), 'tramline' pattern - specimen x ray

Vascular calcification
Vascular calcification - corresponding H&E showing calcification of arterial media (Monkeberg's sclerosis)

Duct ectasia



Mammogram - widespread duct ectasia with calcification
Mammogram - extensive duct ectasia - Courtesy of Jim Walsh & Pat Forrest

Duct ectasia - detail of mammogram above
Duct ectasia - detail of mammmogram above - Courtesy of Jim Walsh & Pat Forrest

Coarse luminal calc associated with duct ectasia - medium power   Coarse luminal calc associated with duct ectasia - high power
Coarse luminal calc associated with duct ectasia - an unusual cause of this pattern of calcification

See also Duct Ectasia.




Calcification in old fat necrosis


Calcification in fat necrosis
Calcification in fat necrosis
Coarse stromal calcification (arrows) in an area of fibrosis associated with old fat necrosis

Calcification in fat necrosis
Note oil cysts lined by foamy macrophages (A) and large central calc (red circle) See also Fat necrosis


Lactational change and calcification of luminal secretions


Lactational change is an uncommon cause of microcalcification in the breast. The calcification can take on an irregular linear appearance and be interpreted radiologically as suspicious of DCIS. Luminal secretions undergo calcification and the calcs can show a concentric psammoma-like appearance. The following causes are recognised:



In the following sequence of images "Mouse-over" to see the overlays


low power view of core biopsy with luminal calcs
Low power view (x 4) of core biopsy - note frequent luminal calcs (blue arrows on mouse-over)

Medium power view of luminal calcs
Medium power view (x 4) of core biopsy - note frequent luminal calcs (red oval on 'M-O'; blue arrows point to lactational change

High power view of luminal calcs
Cropped view of above

Medium power view of luminal calcs
Medium power view of core biopsy showing luminal calcs (red circle) (mouse-over)

High power view of luminal calcs
High power view of core biopsy showing coarse luminal calc (red star) and lactational changes (blue arrow) (mouse-over)

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