Calcinosis: An Intractable and Distressing Problem (Slideshow)

Better treatment urgently needed

Dystrophic calcinosis is the most common form of calcinosis, the deposition of insoluble calcium salts in various tissues. It occurs most frequently in patients with underlying autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as scleroderma and dermatomyositis.

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These slides depict calcinosis in several patients, including a 29-year-old female with juvenile dermatomyositis since age 7 whose myositis has remained in remission on prednisone, hydroxychloroquine and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusions. However, her subcutaneous calcium deposits progressed relentlessly, ultimately covering her entire body like an exoskeleton.

These cases demonstrate the devastating nature of dystrophic calcinosis and the urgent need for further research to develop effective therapies.

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Images and text provided by Soumya Chatterjee, MD, Director, Scleroderma Program, Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases.