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Volume 4 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2002

  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

Diagnosis of dermal calcification

  • 1, 2
Breast Cancer Research20024 (Suppl 1) :69

  • Published:


  • Cancer Research
  • Positional Relationship
  • Breast Tissue
  • Biopsy Procedure
  • Radiological Diagnosis

This presentation will illustrate how the combination of established mammographic techniques and the alternative use of a biopsy attachment helped us to develop a technique that allows differential radiological diagnosis between dermal calcification and other calcification within breast tissue.

The accurate radiological diagnosis of dermal calcification has many advantages: the possible prevention of unnecessary biopsy procedures; results can be given on the first visit; reduction of patient time in department; and reduction of patient anxiety induced by both biopsy and the wait for results.

Dermal calcifications typically have lucent centres and maintain their positional relationships regardless of radiographic view (the tattoo sign). It is the maintenance of these positional relationships that enables a possible diagnosis of dermal calcification.

Confirmation of this diagnosis can be made using the Siemens Mammomat 3000 and biopsy attachment with shadow cross. It is possible to accurately locate and subsequently skin mark the calcification. Tangential views are taken following the skin marking. If the calcifications are found to be within 3 mm of the skin marker the diagnosis of dermal calcifications can be made.

Authors’ Affiliations

North Yorkshire Breast Screening Service, York District Hospital, York, UK
North Yorkshire Breast Screening Unit, UK


© BioMed Central 2002