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J Neurosurg. 1999 Jan;90(1):148-52.

Destructive tophaceous calcium hydroxyapatite tumor of the infratemporal fossa. Case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, USA.


Tophaceous pseudogout is one of the rarest forms of crystal deposition disease, typically presenting as a destructive and invasive mass involving the temporomandibular joint or the infratemporal fossa region in the absence of any other articular manifestations. Previous cases have been assumed to be caused by calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition, based on finding weakly birefringent crystals in the involved tissues. The authors present the unique case of a 65-year-old woman with a destructive and invasive facial mass extending to the middle cranial fossa with microscopic and clinical features consistent with tophaceous pseudogout. High-resolution x-ray crystallographic powder diffraction and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy subsequently revealed that the crystals were composed of calcium hydroxyapatite without CPPD. The patient was later found to have primary hyperparathyroidism and mild hypercalcemia. This case demonstrates that tissue deposits of calcium hydroxyapatite can cause a destructive and invasive mass containing weakly birefringent crystals and raises the question of whether previous cases attributed to tophaceous pseudogout resulting from CPPD actually were composed of birefringent calcium hydroxyapatite.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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