IS case 471: Regional calcifications

Nate Johnson, MD

University of Rochester

Imaging Sciences URMC 2010
Publication Date: 2010-08-30


Patient is a 51-year-old female presenting for annual screening mammogram with history of benign breast biopsy 16 years ago.


Calcification patterns may be concerning for malignancy, indeterminate in nature or most typically benign. The most common classification pattern includes:

1.Group/Cluster: 5 or more calcifications in <1cc of tissue; may be benign or malignant. 2.Fine/Linear/Branching: arranged in a line with small branch point; concerning for malignancy. 3.Segmental: distributed in duct and branches; concerning for malignancy. 4.Regional: distributed over larger volume of tissue than segmental; may be benign or malignant. 5.Diffuse/Scattered: distributed randomly around large volume of breast, frequently bilateral; usually benign.

Secondary to the indeterminate nature of regional calcifications the right breast in this patient was biopsied 16 years ago which demonstrated benign pathology. The calcifications have been stable for five years.


  1. 1. Bassett LW. The abnormal mammogram. IN: Bast RC Jr, Kufe DW, Pollock R , et al. (Eds.). Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine, 5th ed. Hamilton (ON): BC Decker, 2000. []

2 images