Calcinosis cutis

    Deposition of calcium in the skin, with four subtypes: metastatic calcinosis (including calciphylaxis), dystrophic calcinosis, idiopathic calcinosis and iatrogenic calcinosis

    Clinical Features:

    • Hard whitish nodules are typically seen.

    Histologic Features:

    • In most causes of calcinosis cutis, the calcifications are predominantly deep dermal and subcutaneous, with less involvement of the superficial dermis.
    • Fibrosis and/or foreign body giant cell reaction may be present.
    • The "subepidermal calcified nodule" is a solitary lesion seen in infants, especially on the face.  Microscopically, calcification is present immediately beneath the epidermis, which is acanthotic and hyperkeratotic.



    Also known as: widespread calcification with vascular thrombosis, calcific uremic arteriopathy, calcifying panniculitis, vascular calcification-cutaneous necrosis syndrome

    Clinical Features:

    • Complication of renal failure, especially when there is secondary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism
    • Painful violaceous lesions, most common on the trunk and extremities, which may progress to form ulcers and gangrene
    • Often fatal

    Histologic Features:

    • Calcification of small to medium-sized dermal and subcutaneous blood vessels, often with secondary thrombosis
    • Necrosis of the skin and subcutis may ensue.
    External Links:


    Cases associated with this book:

  • Calcinosis cutis
    Author: Artur Zembowicz M.D. Ph.D.

    Conference: Teaching Collection
  • Calciphylaxis
    Author: Stephen Lyle, M.D., Ph.D.

    Conference: Teaching Collection