Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Mönckeberg's sclerosis – is the artery the only target of calcification?

Carlos Eduardo Barra Couri, Geruza Alves da Silva, José Antônio Baddini Martinez, Francisco de Assis Pereira and Francisco José Albuquerque de Paula*

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2005, 5:34  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-5-34

Published: 12 December 2005



Since its first description, Mönckeberg's sclerosis has only been related to arterial media calcification, being listed among the primary diseases of the vessels.

Case presentation

We report here a clinically and histologically confirmed case of Mönckeberg's sclerosis in which the patient presented with massive areas of soft tissue calcifications in the pharynx and larynx. Polysomnographic parameters showed severe obstructive apnea refractory to nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Clinical and laboratory findings excluded concomitant endocrine or rheumatological diseases.


Our data provide a new insight about Mönckeberg's sclerosis, i.e., the fact that the etiopathogenic process involved in the phenomenon of calcification may not be restricted only to the arteries, but may occur in the entire organism. Further studies of the etiopathogenesis of this disease are needed.