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Ann Plast Surg. 1995 Feb;34(2):138-47.

Soft-tissue calcifications: differential diagnosis and therapeutic approaches.

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Institute for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Southern Illinois University, Springfield 62794-9230, USA.


Calcification of soft tissue may be an unspecific local response or present as only a symptom of a complex underlying disease. Patient approach and treatment vary greatly depending on the cause of soft-tissue calcifications. The review of literature reveals multiple causes but also confusing nomenclature for similar clinical entities. Dystrophic and metastatic soft-tissue calcifications are discerned, but there is also contribution of both types of soft-tissue calcification to some syndromes. Six previously unpublished cases of soft-tissue calcification including Thibièrge-Weissenbach syndrome, scleroderma (progressive systemic sclerosis), calcifying cavernous hemangioma (2 patients), and heterotopic calcifications after burn injury (2 patients) are presented to discuss the differential diagnosis. The correct diagnosis is crucial for successful treatment. Resections of the lateral heads of the gastrocnemius muscles in 2 patients resulted in cure of the problem. The patient suffering from Thibièrge-Weissenbach syndrome had no recurrence during a 30-month postoperative follow-up period. Surgical treatment of scleroderma or soft-tissue calcification after burn injury is aimed toward relief of symptoms. A proposal for patient assessment and indications for surgical correction with regard to soft-tissue calcifications is presented and discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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