Calcific axillary lymphadenopathy (differential)

Last revised by Tom Foster on 1 Dec 2022

Calcific axillary lymphadenopathy is in general, more concerning than axillary lymphadenopathy alone and is particularly so if it contains microcalcifications. While this is concerning for malignancy, it can also occur from occasional nonmalignant causes.


  • metastatic axillary lymphadenopathy from breast malignancy

  • metastatic axillary lymphadenopathy from mucin-producing non-breast malignancies: especially those that cause psammomatous calcification

  • patients treated with Gold chrysotherapy: e.g. for rheumatoid arthritis

  • granulomatous disease: usually has a typically benign coarse appearance 

  • fat necrosis in the axillary tail: rare 2

See also

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