A diagnostic strategy for breast calcifications based on a long-term follow-up of 615 lesions

  • Rika YonekuraEmail author
  • Rie Horii
  • Takuji Iwase
  • Naoya Gomi
  • Masanobu Kitagawa
  • Futoshi Akiyama
  • Shinji Ohno
Original Article



To clarify the long-term outcomes of breast calcifications after stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy (SVAB) and to develop strategy after SVAB.


Subject comprised 594 patients with 615 calcifications who underwent SVAB. 371 (60.3%) lesions were diagnosed as benign, 38 (6.2%) as indeterminate, and 206 (33.5%) as malignant. We retrospectively reviewed post-biopsy courses of non-malignant lesions which were followed. A histopathological review was performed for false negatives to clarify the reasons.


Of the 308 patients with benign lesions, with a median follow-up time of 55.8 months, re-biopsy was performed for 11 (3.6%) due to changes of imaging, and 4 (1.3%) were diagnosed as breast cancer. Of the 36 patients with indeterminate lesion, re-biopsy was performed for 16 (44.4%), and 8 (22.2%) were diagnosed as breast cancer, while 20 (55.6%) showed no changes in imaging with a median follow-up time of 91.7 months without re-biopsy. Weak atypism of intraductal carcinoma may cause a false-negative diagnosis in SVAB for breast calcifications.


When SVAB results in non-malignant, patients may be followed by annual screening, while re-biopsy needs to be performed for the patients with a discordant result of SVAB and with changes in an imaging finding during a follow-up.


Breast cancer Calcifications Mammography Stereotactic vacuum-assisted breast biopsy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rika Yonekura
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Rie Horii
    • 2
    • 4
  • Takuji Iwase
    • 1
  • Naoya Gomi
    • 5
  • Masanobu Kitagawa
    • 3
  • Futoshi Akiyama
    • 2
    • 4
  • Shinji Ohno
    • 1
  1. 1.Breast Oncology CenterThe Cancer Institute Hospital of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Division of PathologyThe Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Comprehensive Pathology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of PathologyThe Cancer Institute Hospital of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Diagnostic Radiology CenterThe Cancer Institute Hospital of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan

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