OBJECTIVES: To determine whether breast arterial calcification (BAC) detected on mammography can predict the presence of coronary artery calcification (CAC) on CT in women.
METHODS: Women explored with both mammography and thoracic CT from 2009 to 2018 were retrospectively included. Women were separated in 3 categories (no BAC, few BAC, and marked BAC) using a specific 12-point scale. Similar scale was used to evaluate the amount of CAC on CT. The mean sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and diagnostic accuracy of BAC for the detection of CAC were calculated. Statistical significance was assessed with Pearson's chi-squared test and Fisher's exact test as appropriate.
RESULTS: A total of 507 women (mean age: 62 years ± 16) were included. Patients with high amount of BAC were older (72 ± 11 vs. 59 ± 15 years old; p < .0001), were more frequently hypertensive (66% vs. 31%; p < .0001), and had more frequently renal failure (21% vs. 6%; p < .0003) than patients without BAC. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and diagnostic accuracy of BAC for the detection of women with marked CAC were 53.1%, 87.6%, 55.0%, 86.7%, and 79.9%, respectively. The highest diagnostic accuracy was obtained in patients under 60 years: 84.2% for detection of CAC and 93.2% for detection of women with marked CAC.
CONCLUSION: The presence of BAC on mammography was linked to the presence of CAC and may be used as a cardiovascular marker in patient less than 60 years.
KEY POINTS: • The diagnostic accuracy of breast arterial calcification (BAC) to detect the presence of coronary artery calcification (CAC) was 70.4% and reached to 79.9% to detect women with high amount of CAC. • Highest diagnostic accuracy of BAC to detect CAC (93.2%) was noticed in women under 60 years. • The presence of BAC on mammography may be used as a cardiovascular risk marker in women, especially under 60 years.