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Pathology of Calcinosis Cutis

Dr Sampurna Roy MD       




Calcinosis cutis, the deposition of calcium in the dermis can be dystrophic, metastatic, iatrogenic, or idiopathic.


[ Microscopic images showing large irregular deposits in a dense collagenous stroma. Calcium salts are easily identified by hematoxylin and eosin by intense uniform basophilia. (von Kossa silver stain is used to confirm the diagnosis). This stain blackens the deposits.]

The following are some important conditions characterized by deposition of calcium in the dermis: 

-Subepidermal Calcified Nodule:

These are solitary lesions.

Site: Head, ear, extremities.  

Age: Usually young children ; sometimes in adults.

-Idiopathic Scrotal Calcinosis:


Rare benign condition.

Site: Scrotal skin.

Age: Children or young adults.

Clinical presentation: Present as single or multiple hard, yellowish asymptomatic nodules.

These lesions increase in size and number and sometimes break down to discharge chalky material.

- Tumoral Calcinosis:

Idiopathic condition. Characterized by large deposits of calcium in the subcutis. Located on large joints.

- Dystrophic Calcification:

Dystrophic calcification is the most common type of calcinosis cutis and is associated with a variety of diseases.

It usually occurs in connective tissue diseases.

- Metastatic Calcification:

Patients may have hypercalcemia with primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism.

Deposits are noted in the deep dermis or subcutaneous tissue.

Common sites: Axillae, abdomen, medial part of thigh.

Further reading:

Large tumoral calcinosis in the gluteal region: a case report.

Idiopathic calcinosis cutis.

Idiopathic scrotal calcinosis.

An unusual presentation of perforating metastatic calcinosis cutis.

Idiopathic Calcinosis Cutis over Elbow in a 12-Year Old Child.

Obesity and calcinosis cutis: characteristic early signs of infantile pseudohypoparathyroidism.

Diffuse dystrophic calcinosis cutis of the scalp in a patient with scalp discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

[Calcinosis cutis of bilateral knees: report of a case].

Massive idiopathic scrotal calcinosis.






Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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