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Nigerian Journal of Clinical Medicine

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A Review of Breast Calcifications on Mammography in a Tertiary Health Institution in Nigeria

R.A Akinola, K.O Wright

Abstract


Background Breast calcifications seen on mammograms may be associated with benign or malignant conditions which require accurate characterization for treatment and screening purposes. This study was undertaken to review mammographic calcifications. Materials and Methods A descriptive study of all mammograms taken in the radiology department of a tertiary institution within an 11 month period in 2009 was done, using a Villa Systemi stereotactic mammography machine and Concept MC Utrasound Scan machine. Biopsies were performed where indicated and histology results were compared with radiological findings. Data was analyzed using the Epi-info statistical software. Results Out of the 248 patients assessed, the predominant presenting symptoms were breast pain (30.2%) and breast lump (27.4%). While assessing the mammograms, various types of calcifications described as skin (17.0%); worm-like (4.3%); coarse (16.0%); popcorn (6.4%); rod like (8.5%); milk (5.3%); rim (4.3%); vascular (20.2%); micro- 12(12.8%); and widespread pleomorphic calcifications (5.3%) were seen. Calcifications were commoner in the lower quadrant and were evenly distributed in the inner and outer quadrants. Histology revealed that all the widespread pleomorphic calcifications and 75% of the micro-calcifications seen were malignant. Conclusion This study confirms that calcifications are commonly seen on mammograms with microand pleomorphic calcifications as common features in malignant breast lesions.

Key words: Mammography, breast, calcifications



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/njcm.v3i1.57382
AJOL African Journals Online