Dystrophic calcification

Dystrophic Calcification (D.C.) is the mineralization of soft tissue without a systemic mineral imbalance. (A systemic imbalance would elevate calcium levels in the blood and all tissues: metastatic calcification.) This occurs as a reaction to tissue damage, including as a consequence of medical device implantation.

Dystrophic calcification can occur in a eucalcemic state. Basophilic calcium salt deposits aggregate, first in the mitochondria, and progressively throughout the cell. These calcifications are an indication of previous cell injury on the microscopic level.

Calcification can occur in dead or degenerated tissue

Calcification in dead tissue

  1. Caseous necrosis in T.B. is most common site of dystrophic calcification.
  2. Liquefactive necrosis in chronic abscesses may get calcified.
  3. Fat necrosis following acute pancreatitis or traumatic fat necrosis in breasts results in deposition of calcium soaps.
  4. Infarcts may undergo D.C.
  5. Thrombi, esp. in veins, may produce phleoboliths.
  6. Haematomas in the vicinity of bones may undergo D.C.
  7. Dead parasites like schistostoma eggs show D.C.
  8. Congenital toxoplasmosis involving CNS visualised by calcification in infaract brain.

Calcification in degenerated tissue

  1. Dense scars may undergo hyaline degeneration and calcification.
  2. Atheroma in aorta and coronaries frequently undergo calcification.
  3. Cysts can show calcifcation.
  4. Calcinosis cutis is condition in which there are irregular nodular deposits of calcium salts in skin and subcutaneous tissue.
  5. Senile degenerative changes may be accompanied by calcification.

See also


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