Breast fat necrosis secondary to warfarin-induced calciphylaxis, a rare mimicker of breast cancer: A case report and a review of literature

Abdullah Saleh AlQattan, Weaam Zohier Ghulam, Najla Aldaoud, Lama Algheryafi, Nadia Aleisa, Fozan A Aldulaijan
Breast Journal 2021 January 21
33480097
Breast fat necrosis (BFN) is usually a benign inflammatory response to breast trauma. However, an extremely rare cause of fat necrosis is calciphylaxis, a calcification of small- and medium-sized arteries causing thrombosis and ischemia. It is classified into (A) uremic (B) nonuremic-induced calciphylaxis. Calciphylaxis has been reported to be encountered in different parts of the body. However, to the best of our knowledge there is only one case in the English literature of BFN 2ry to warfarin-induced calciphylaxis. We report a 65-year-old female, known case of atrial fibrillation on warfarin, presented with a left breast mass of 4-month duration. The mass was painful and progressively enlarging. Examination of the left breast showed 7 × 4 cm mass, spanning from 10-2 o'clock, free from surrounding structures, with preserved overlying skin. However, the mass was not visualized on mammogram. Ultrasound showed a left breast lobulated hypoechoic mass containing a hyperechoic component. Biopsy showed fat necrosis. After 1 month, she presented with ulceration of the overlying skin. After wide local excision, histopathology demonstrated a calciphylaxis-induced fat necrosis. Considering the patient's background, the diagnosis was BFN secondary to warfarin-induced calciphylaxis. Hence, the warfarin was shifted to Rivaroxaban, 6 months follow-up showed no evidence of recurrence. In conclusion, the rarity of nonuremic calciphylaxis is reflected on the delay of diagnosis in some of the reported cases and the lack of grading system used to guide the management of such difficult wounds. However, keeping a high index of suspicion is important whenever such wounds are encountered with presence of risk factors other than end-stage kidney disease.

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