Breast calcification micromorphology classification

Robert Scott*, Iain Lyburn, Eleanor Cornford, Pascaline Bouzy, Nicholas Stone, Charlene Greenwood, Ihsanne Bouybayoune, Sarah Pinder, Keith Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The importance of consistent terminology in describing the appearance of breast calcifications in mammography is well recognised. Imaging of calcifications using electron microscopy is a globally growing field of research. We therefore suggest that the time is ripe to develop a lexicon of terms for classifying the micromorphology of breast calcifications. Methods: Calcifications within a wide range of histolog-ical sections of breast tissue, both benign and malignant, were imaged by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). These images were examined, and the micromorphology of calcifications present was grouped to create a classification system. Results: Based on the appearance of the calcifications observed, we propose five main categories for classification of the micromorphology of breast calci-fications, namely, Dense Homogenous, Punctulate, Banded, Spongy and Aggregate. Conclusions: Use of the descriptive categories outlined here will help to ensure consistency and comparability of published observations on the micromorphology of breast calcifications. Advances in knowledge: This is the first time a lexicon and classification system has been proposed for the micromorphology of breast calcifications, as observed by scanning electron microscopy of histological sections. This will facilitate comparability of observed relationships between micromorphology, mammographic appearance, chemistry and pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20220485
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1139
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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