Calcinosis refers to the accumulation of calcium phosphate that occurs in the various soft tissues of the body. The condition of calcinosis is referred to as calcification. Crystals of calcium phosphate get transformed into the shape of snowballs. They are always associated with particular collagens, the insoluble fibrous tissues found in the connective tissues of the body. Collagens found in skin, bone, cartilages and ligaments take up thirty per cent of the body’s total intake of protein.
Hypercalcamia is that condition in which an excessive amount of calcium is found in the blood. There are generally two kinds of calcinosis. The classifications are metastatic calcification and dystrophic calcification.
In the hypercalcemic state, the calcium deposits are generally formed in organs such as kidney, stomach, lung, brain, eyes, skin, and arterial walls. This type of calcinosis is generally found to relate to other underlying conditions like hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism or renal disease. Though considered as a form of calcinosis, tumoral calcinosis is generally separated from other forms of metastatic calcification. It is because no internal organs are involved in tumoral calcinosis.
Doctors sometimes use the term calcinosis in a restricted sense. In the limited sense of the term, calcinosis refers to those patients who suffer from calcium deposits in the soft tissues. In them, no generalised disturbances will be spotted in the metabolism of calcium or phosphorous.
Dystrophic calcification refers to that kind of calcinosis, which is found at spots of previous inflammation or damage done to the skin. Calcinosis is also associated with connective tissue diseases. Examples of such disorders linked with connective tissue include systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) or polymyositis-dermatomyositis.
The standard method employed for the detection of dystrophic calcification is that which makes use of plain X-ray. However, computed tomographic (CT) scanning is increasingly being used presently in order to identify calcinosis in symptomatic, but radiographically normal regions of the body.