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Malignancy risk of indeterminate mammographic calcification in symptomatic breast clinics
  1. Gaurav J Bansal,
  2. Lauren Emanuel,
  3. Sesha Kanagasabai
  1. The Breast Centre, University Hospital of Llandough, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gaurav J Bansal, The Breast centre, University Hospital of Llandough, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; gjbansal{at}


Background To explore the potential risk factors predicting malignancy in patients with indeterminate incidental mammographic microcalcification and to evaluate the short-term risk of developing malignancy.

Methods Between January 2011 and December 2015, one hundred and fifty (150) consecutive patients with indeterminate mammographic microcalcifications who had undergone stereotactic biopsy were evaluated. Clinical and mammographic features were recorded and compared with histopathological biopsy results. In patients with malignancy, postsurgical findings and surgical upgrade, if any, were recorded. Linear regression analysis (SPSS V.25) was used to evaluate significant variables predicting malignancy. OR with 95% CIs was calculated for all variables. All patients were followed up for a maximum of 10 years. The mean age of the patients was 52 years (range 33–79 years).

Results There were a total of 55 (37%) malignant results in this study cohort. Age was an independent predictor of breast malignancy with an OR (95% CI) of 1.10 (1.03 to 1.16). Mammographic microcalcification size, pleomorphic morphology, multiple clusters and linear/segmental distribution were significantly associated with malignancy with OR (CI) of 1.03 (1.002 to 1.06), 6.06 (2.24 to 16.66), 6.35 (1.44 to 27.90) and 4.66 (1.07 to 20.19). The regional distribution of microcalcification had an OR of 3.09 (0.92 to 10.3), but this was not statistically significant. Patients with previous breast biopsies had a lower risk of breast malignancy than patients with no prior biopsy (p=0.034).

Conclusion Multiple clusters, linear/segmental distribution, pleomorphic morphology, size of mammographic microcalcifications and increasing age were independent predictors of malignancy. Having a previous breast biopsy did not increase malignancy risk.

  • breast
  • mammography
  • microcalcification
  • cancer
  • surveillance

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors Guarantor of integrity of the entire study—GJB. Study concept and design—GJB/LE/SK. Literature research— GJB/LE/SK. Clinical studies/data analysis—GJB/SK/LE. Statistical analysis—GJB/SK/LE. Manuscript preparation—GJB/SK/LE. Manuscript editing—GJB/LE/SK. GJB is the author responsible for the overall content as guarantor

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.