Contemporary Diagnostic Radiology

Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 30, 2014 - Volume 37 - Issue 13 > Axillary Lymph Node Calcification: A Review of Local and Sy...
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Contemporary Diagnostic Radiology:
doi: 10.1097/01.CDR.0000451016.34682.05

Axillary Lymph Node Calcification: A Review of Local and Systemic Disease Processes

Johnson, Jason M. MD; Franceschi, Ana M. MD; Reed, Marianne S. MD; Primm, Jane C. MD; Herschorn, Sally D. MD

Continued Medical Education
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Routine breast imaging studies frequently detect abnormal axillary lymph node findings including increase in node density, interval increase in size, loss of the normal fatty hilum, and calcification.1 The presence of calcified axillary lymph nodes is significant because it can be the only finding indicative of serious regional or systemic disease. Although primary breast cancer has been associated with axillary lymph node calcifications, familiarity with additional local and systemic processes presenting in this manner can aid in planning further diagnostic evaluation of patients. In many cases, it will not be possible to distinguish benign and malignant axillary lymph nodes on mammography alone; therefore, fine-needle aspiration, preferably with ultrasound guidance, or biopsy of the lymph nodes will be needed for further evaluation. However, after an appropriate review for likely benign etiologies, it may be possible to limit the number of unnecessary invasive procedures.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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