Prostatic calcification

Dr Owen Kang and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Prostatic calcification is a common finding in the prostate gland, especially after the age of 50. They may be solitary but usually occur in clusters 7.

They are rare in children, infrequent below 40, and common in those over 50. Their number and size increase with age 8.

Prostatic calcification is most often an incidental, asymptomatic finding but it can cause symptoms such as dysuria, hematuria, obstruction, or pelvic/perineal pain. Occasionally calcifications can be passed via the urethra 1,2

One of the key mechanisms is thought to be calcification of the corpora amylacea and simple precipitation of prostatic secretions 9.

Prostatic calcification may be either primary (idiopathic) or secondary to 2,6 :

Most commonly is bilateral and found in the posterior and lateral lobes although unilateral calcification can be seen. 

Variable appearance from fine granules to irregular lumps and can range in size from 1 to 40 mm. If there is significant prostatic hypertrophy the calcifications can project well above the pubic symphysis 1,2

Calcifications appear as brightly echogenic foci that may or may not show posterior shadowing 3

Calcifications appear as hyperattenuating foci of variable thickness 3.

SWI sequences may be used to identify calcifications.

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Article information

rID: 26086
System: Urogenital
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Prostatic calculi
  • Prostate lithiasis
  • Prostatic lithiasis
  • Prostate calculi
  • Intraprostatic calcifications
  • Intraprostatic calcification
  • Intraprostatic calculi
  • Intraprostatic calculus
  • Prostate calculus
  • Prostate calcification
  • Prostatic calcifications
  • Prostatolithiasis

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: prostatic cancer
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