The tattoo sign is a feature given to describe dermal calcifications seen on mammography 1. The basis of this sign is that dermal calcifications maintain fixed relationships to one another that are reproducible with similar projections at different times. This is in contrast to intramammary calcifications in which the relationship of the calcifications to one another can change as the tissue is compressed 2.
A similar, unnamed sign consists of dermal calcifications that maintain fixed relationships to one another that are reproducible on different projections at the same examination 1.
Dermal calcification has certain characteristics such as lucent centres, polygonal or spherical shape, presence of the tattoo sign, and peripheral location of the calcification. At times, the tattoo sign may be the only finding.
To prove the dermal location of the calcifications it is useful to obtain a tangential view 5.
- 1. Loffman Felman RL. The tattoo sign. Radiology. 2002;223 (2): 481-2. doi:10.1148/radiol.2232000107 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Homer MJ, D'Orsi CJ, Sitzman SB. Dermal calcifications in fixed orientation: the tattoo sign. Radiology. 1994;192 (1): 161-3. Pubmed citation
- 3. Ellen Shaw De Paredes. Atlas of Mammography. ISBN: 0781764335
- 4. Cecilia M Brennecke. Breast Imaging: Case Review Series. ISBN: 0323091636
- 5. Stefano Pacifici. Lo standard di qualità nella mammografia di screening. Mb ed., 2015. ISBN 8894085309, 9788894085303 https://books.google.it/books/about/Lo_standard_di_qualità_nella_mammografi.html?id=UaLPsgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y