[en] Using serial sections of frozen and AFA-fixed tissues from 34 breast cancers, we studied the presence of basement membrane material in the areas of elastosis. Various amounts of type IV collagen but not of laminin were demonstrated in areas of periductal elastosis. In some tumors, type IV collagen accumulated beneath the basement membrane. Periductal elastosis in areas of extensive fibrosis showed focal type IV collagen immunoreactivity, indicating remnants of ducts. Interstitial elastosis corresponded with weak type IV collagen reactivity. Each tumor showed type IV collagen immunostaining of the elastotic areas, with various degrees of intensity. Negative crossreactivity of the type IV collagen antibody with elastin was verified in skin biopsies with solar elastosis. Pre-incubation of the antibody with large amounts of elastin demonstrated an identical immunoreactivity. The specificity of the antibody was confirmed by ELISA and by Western blot analysis. To explain the periductal elastosis, we propose the following hypothesis. Excessive production of basement membrane material by the epithelial cells of the ducts leads to formation of a type IV collagen skeleton. This skeleton can act as the matrix for a secondary deposition of elastic material.