Indian Journal of Rheumatology

: 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 135--136

Calcinosis cutis in connective tissue diseases

Gianfranco Vitiello, Boaz Palterer, Paola Parronchi, Daniele Cammelli 
 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gianfranco Vitiello
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, Azienda Ospedaliero.Universitaria Careggi, 50134 Florence


How to cite this article:
Vitiello G, Palterer B, Parronchi P, Cammelli D. Calcinosis cutis in connective tissue diseases.Indian J Rheumatol 2018;13:135-136

How to cite this URL:
Vitiello G, Palterer B, Parronchi P, Cammelli D. Calcinosis cutis in connective tissue diseases. Indian J Rheumatol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 27 ];13:135-136
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Full Text

Calcinosis cutis (CC) is the deposition of calcium in the skin and subcutaneous tissues often associated with debilitating complications, such as pain, recurrent episodes of local inflammation, and functional impairment.[1] The two most common morphological patterns of CC in patients affected by connective tissue diseases (CTDs) are the nodular and the sheet-like.[2] CC has been frequently reported in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and myositis. CC has been associated in myositis presenting with overlapping SSc features, such as fingertip ulcerations.[3]

We present two different cases of calcium deposition detected by plain radiography.

Patient A was a 60-year-old female with amyopatic dermatomyositis with anti-MDA5 antibodies since 2014, in treatment with high-dose intravenous human immunoglobulins, hydroxychloroquine, and low-dose steroids, with an extensive and progressive cutaneous involvement complicated by painful diffuse plaque-shaped superficial CC bilaterally involving arms [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b and gluteus muscles. Therapy with cyclosporine A, oral bisphosphonates, and increased steroid doses reduced local pain but was unable to control plaque dimensions and progression.{Figure 1}

Patient B was a 65-year-old female affected by limited SSc since 2000, in treatment with methotrexate and low-dose steroids, who progressively developed a mostly asymptomatic nodular CC involving hands, armpits [Figure 1]c and [Figure 1]d, and gluteus muscles. Histological specimens confirmed the presence of deep subcutaneous calcium salt deposition. No drug was added to therapy in the absence of debilitating complications.

CTD-related calcinosis is a not well-characterized, and is often a debilitating condition in which therapy still represents a real challenge for a physician. Calcium channel blockers, bisphosphonates, warfarin, intravenous immunoglobulins, and biologic agents have shown mixed results, and evidence for their efficacy is still lacking.[1],[4],[5] For these reasons, surgery is still considered the best treatment for CC, albeit recurrence is a common clinical outcome.[6]

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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