Bone & joints
Other osteogenic tumors
Metastatic calcification

Topic Completed: 1 July 2013

Revised: 28 December 2018

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Metastatic calcification[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N Metastatic calcification. website. Accessed November 25th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Also called calcium hydroxyapatite deposition in soft tissue, tumoral calcinosis
  • Associated with trauma, renal failure, hyperparathyroidism, metastatic carcinoma, myeloma, scleroderma, hypermetabolic states, sarcoidosis
  • In blacks, associated with elevated serum phosphate, occurs in teens with painless masses in hips, elbows, shoulders, gluteal area
  • Sites: kidney, alveoli of lungs, cornea, conjunctiva, gastric mucosa, blood vessel walls
Case reports
  • Seven siblings with bleeding, then aggregation of foamy histiocytes, then cystic cavities lined by osteoclast-like giant cells (Am J Surg Pathol 1993;17:788)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Calcium deposits are associated with inflammatory cells and giant cells
Differential diagnosis
  • Dystrophic calcification: dead tissue that is not rapidly absorbed; associated with coagulation necrosis, caseous necrosis, fat necrosis
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