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Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Aug;48(2):301-6.

Increased breast calcifications in women with ESRD on dialysis: implications for breast cancer screening.

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Departments of Medicine and Radiology, Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, NY, USA.



Different appearances of breast calcification on mammography can differentiate benign from malignant disease. An increased incidence of breast calcifications in dialysis patients is established, but data for morphological characteristics in renal patients, incidence of benign and malignant calcifications, and clinical consequences are limited. In this study, we compare mammograms and the workup of abnormal calcifications of women on hemodialysis with that of women with normal renal function.


This is a retrospective case-control study; 45 women on hemodialysis had their screening mammograms reviewed. A control group of 86 age-matched women with normal renal function was randomly obtained for comparison. Mammograms were examined and the recommended workup was traced. Breast calcification morphological characteristics, incidence of benign versus malignant calcifications, callback rate, and biopsy recommendation rates were compared to determine whether breast calcifications in renal patients led to excessive workups.


Overall, breast calcifications in the renal group were statistically significantly increased compared with controls, mostly because of several benign-appearing morphological characteristics. No statistically significant difference was present between the 2 groups with respect to callback rates. However, incidences of malignancy-associated calcification and hence biopsy recommendation rate were slightly greater for the renal group.


Renal patients have an increase in breast calcification, mostly caused by several benign calcifications. The callback rate is no greater than that in the general population. However, there is a slightly greater incidence of malignancy-associated calcifications; hence, once called back, they have a greater probability of being recommended for biopsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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