Routine mammograms can show arterial calcium deposits in women with ESRD, CKD

December 24, 2015

Thirty-six percent of the women with kidney disease already had breast arterial calcifications on mammograms performed several years earlier??before their kidney disease advanced to ESRD. More than 90 percent of women with calcifications of the breast artery also had evidence of medical calcifications in other blood vessels.

Calcium deposits seen on mammograms could be "a marker of generalized medical vascular calcifications" in patients with kidney disease, the researchers write. The results support the theory that CKD predisposes to medial calcification, which may in turn, contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Since most women with CKD are at an age where yearly mammograms are recommended, mammograms may be a useful tool for studying the development and progression of medical calcifications. O'Neill and colleagues call for further studies of arterial calcium deposits in patients with kidney disease??including whether early identification and treatment might help to lower the associated risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study had some important limitations, including the relatively small number of patients studied.

Source: Emory University