In 2018, cardiovascular disease (CVD) was the leading cause of death among women, and current CVD prevention paradigms may not be sufficient in this group. In that context, it has recently been proposed that detection of calcification in breast arteries may help improve CVD risk screening and assessment in apparently healthy women. This review provides an overview of breast arterial anatomy; and the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and measurement of breast artery calcium (BAC); and discusses the features of the BAC-CVD link. The potential clinical applications that BAC may offer for CVD prevention in the context of current clinical practice guidelines and recommendations are also discussed. Finally, current gaps in evidence gaps are outlined, and future directions in the field are explored with a focus on the implementation of BAC mammography as a CVD risk-screening tool in routine clinical practice.
- breast artery calcium
- cardiovascular disease
- risk assessment
- women's health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine