Pre-operative localization of breast microcalcification using high-frequency ultrasound

Clin Radiol. 1997 Dec;52(12):924-6. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(97)80225-5.


Aim: To determine whether high-frequency ultrasound (US) can be used to reliably localize breast microcalcification preoperatively in the absence of any associated mass lesion or distortion.

Patients and methods: Seventeen patients, found to have microcalcification at mammography, the majority screen detected, were studied using high-frequency (10 or 13 MHz) US to visualize the calcified particles. The approximate site of the microcalcifications was first determined from the mammograms. Once the calcifications had been localized, the skin overlying the site was marked with an indelible marker and the depth of the calcifications recorded for the surgeon. Successful excision of microcalcifications was confirmed with postbiopsy specimen X-ray.

Results: Fifteen of the 17 patients (88%) underwent successful removal of the microcalcifications. The mean microcalcification cluster size was 160 mm with a mean number of calcifications of 20 at a mean depth of 15 mm. The mean size of the individual calcifications was 0.29 mm.

Conclusion: Our results show that high-frequency US is an effective non-invasive method of identifying and localizing breast microcalcification, and can be used as an alternative to hook wire stereotaxic localization in the majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Diseases / pathology
  • Breast Diseases / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Calcinosis / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary / methods*