Cutaneous calcifications in breast imaging

Last revised by Ammar Ashraf on 7 Jan 2023

Cutaneous calcifications in breast imaging can form in dermal sweat glands after low grade folliculitis and inspissation of sebaceous material. Calcifications may also form in moles and other skin lesions. The vast majority of calcifications are coincidental findings on mammography.

Calcifications associated with the skin can have variable morphology on imaging ranging from round to oval. Associated lucent centers may be present. When calcifications are associated with moles, a lace-like pattern may be seen.

The diagnosis is confirmed when the calcifications are projected in the skin line on mammographic views, very often on the MLO view , although sometimes could be useful a Tangential view.

  • lobular breast calcifications: skin calcifications typically have a very fine lucent center, not always seen in lobular calcification; skin calcifications do not cluster
  • deodorant: these days this is rarely a problem because most programmes instruct clients not to wear deodorant
    • some products contained an aluminum based compound that was visible as very fine microscopic densities in the area where the deodorant was applied, rarely seen these days

Cutaneous calcifications rarely present problems in every day practice. They are usually present on previous studies and do not, as a rule, change with time.

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