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Thursday, 24 September 2009 15:42
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Courtesy the International Scleroderma Network at http://sclero.orgBackground:
The Foundation has recently received some feedback from some members of the public asking for more information regarding the condition known as Calcinosis. As part of our efforts we sought to provide a brief, yet informative insight into the topic.

Calcinosis is one of the symptoms of CREST Syndrome, which is a form of Systemic Scleroderma, and is the term for the form of the disease that not only includes the skin, but also involves the tissues beneath, the blood vessels, and the major organs. Systemic Scleroderma is typically broken down into Limited Coetaneous Scleroderma and Diffuse Coetaneous Scleroderma.

Limited coetaneous Scleroderma typically comes on gradually and affects the skin only in certain areas: the fingers, hands, face, lower arms, and legs. Most people with limited disease have Raynaud’s phenomenon for years before skin thickening starts. Telangiectasia and Calcinosis often follow.

What is Calcinosis:
Calcinosis itself, is the formation of calcium deposits (calcium phosphate) in the connective tissues. Where this condition commonly occurs in the skin, it is known as Calcinosis Cutis or Cutaneous Calcification. These aforementioned deposits are typically found on the fingers, hands, face, and trunk and on the skin above elbows and knees.

When the deposits break through the skin, painful ulcers can result. Despite some beliefs, it is not caused by too much calcium in the diet, and a few conditions other than Scleroderma may also cause Calcinosis. These would include for example, dermatomyositis, lupus, Vitamin D, tumors, and parasitic infections.

Calcium phosphate crystals have a remarkable tendency to aggregate into snowball-like clumps and are invariably associated with particular collagens. Collagens are those fibrous, insoluble proteins found in the connective tissues, including skin, bone, ligaments, and cartilage. More than 80% (dry weight) of our skin is made of collagen, and it also forms about 30% of the body's total protein.

What Causes Calcinosis Cutis:
We thought it best to focus on Calcinosis Cutis, and its causes. Calcinosis cutis is divided into four major types according to the original cause of the symptoms.

Dystrophic calcinosis cutis occurs in an area where there is damaged, inflamed, neoplastic or necrotic skin. Tissue damage may be from mechanical, chemical, infectious or other factors. Normal serum calcium and phosphate levels exist. Conditions that can cause calcinosis include:
Metastatic calcinosis cutis occurs in the setting of abnormal calcium and phosphate metabolism and is often associated with hypercalcaemia and/or hyperphosphataemia. Conditions that can cause calcinosis include:
  • Primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Paraneoplastic hypercalcaemia
  • Destructive bone disease, e.g. Paget disease
  • Milk-alkali syndrome
  • Excessive vitamin D intake
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Calciphylaxis
Idiopathic calcinosis cutis generally occurs in the absence of any known tissue injury or systemic metabolic defect. Calcification is usually localised to one general area.

Iatrogenic calcinosis cutis Calcinosis that arises secondary to a treatment or procedure, e.g. parenteral administration of calcium or phosphate, calcium deposition in newborns from repeated heel sticks.



 
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Comments  

 
+1 #2 Liz 2014-04-10 20:58
I had to contact hospice today for my mom who is approaching 90 and per her physician is in the process of dying. She was diagnosed with CREST syndrome - 10 years ago ( she denied symptoms for many years - fear of docs and anxiety over unknown and distrust of people and situations she cannot control) she has pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension, severe osteoporosis and dementia. The pain that she is experiencing from the calcinosis and gangrene is heartbreaking to witness! Mom's quality of life is terrible . I realize that having mom until 90 is a gift even if she wasn't ill - but my frustration is that since diagnosis she has refused treatment other then mild pain meds because she didn't want anyone to know she was ill--- yes she is very old but i really believe that if she had followed recommended treatments on diagnosis that perhaps her quality of life could have been better longer: one more bridge tournament; one more scrabble game; one more season of bowling league and gardening. The thing she hated most was when she was no longer able to deliver 'meals on wheels' to the "old people" and she was 88! Thanks for allowing me to share as i listen to her softly moan - her fingers and toes burning as the necrosis becomes more extensive.Please get treatment when it is available and don't delay asking for pain management when it can be helpful and improve your quality of life/// my most positive thoughts to all who suffer from any form of scleroderma.
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0 #1 Balasubramanian 2013-04-01 23:27
Hi

My mother had scleroderma 10 yrs ago. Suddenly last august she found some calcium coming out of her fingers in the affected hand.
I came to know that this is calcinosis thru one of the calcinosis forums.
It seemed that there was no cure.

Later in order to make her comfortable, i consulted Dr.Chaudry of hyderabad who is a homeopathy doctor. He gave some homeopathy pills that i wasnt sure would help.

I was surprised that the calcium flow slowed down in about 45 days and it has completely stopped now.

If any one would like to try pls call him
Dr.P.Krishna Choudary,
Director,
Hyderabad school of Homeopathy &ICR
8-3-945/A/22
Nagarjuna nagar
ameerpet
hyderabad-500 073
India
ph# 040-23733200

Please note that i being his patient have posted this. You make make your own decision on whether to consult him or not.

Regards
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