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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Feb;64(2):296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.01.046. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Calcium may preferentially deposit in areas of elastic tissue damage.

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  • 1University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.



Cutaneous calcification is an acquired disorder whereby insoluble, amorphous calcium salts deposit in the skin. Classically, cutaneous calcification is categorized as metastatic, dystrophic, idiopathic, or iatrogenic.


The purpose of this study was to further elucidate the underlying pathogenic mechanism for cutaneous calcification.


Three cases of cutaneous calcification, including clinical characteristics and associated histopathology, were reviewed. Previous reports of cutaneous calcification were searched for in the published literature and included.


Calcium is distributed within areas of underlying tissue damage (ie, locus minoris resistentiae), and in our cases, occurred specifically at sites of chronic actinic damage and intravenous extravasation tissue injury.


A small number of clinical cases and previously published reports were reviewed.


We hypothesize that cutaneous calcification may preferentially occur at anatomic sites where tissue integrity has been compromised (ie, locus minoris resistentiae). We suggest one potential mechanism: that cutaneous calcification occurs within dermis that contains damaged elastic fibers. Pseudoxanthoma elasticum may serve as a possible genetic disease model for this process.

Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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