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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1983 Jul;107(7):341-8.

Calcific diseases. A concept.


New observations portray calcification processes as similar whether occurring normally or pathologically. Most forms of calcification are initiated by membranous organelles, ie, extracellular, calcifying "matrix vesicles" or intracellular mitochondria. Matrix vesicles promote calcification through calcium-binding phospholipids and phosphatase activity. Mitochondria use a forceful, inwardly directed Ca and phosphate transport mechanism. After mineral initiation, the proliferation of mineral crystals is dependent on regulatory factors, such as extracellular Ca2+ and PO4(3-) and other mineral inhibitors and promoters. Calcific diseases are defined as those in which (1) Ca uptake is early, (2) calcification is importantly related to dysfunction, and (3) the control of calcification may lead to decreased morbidity or enhanced diagnostic capability. Calcific diseases include such well-known entities as crystal deposition arthritis, atherosclerosis, calcific valvular sclerosis, tumor calcification, dental plaque, and dysfunctional calcification occurring in implanted cardiovascular devices.

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