Calcinosis universalis is a condition characterized by long bands or sheets of symmetrical calcifications in skin, subcutaneous tissues, muscles and tendons 5. It is considered a diffuse form of calcinosis cutis.
It usually presents <20 years of age, and is more common in women.
- palpable calcific plaques in subcutaneous or deeper tissue
- fatigue, muscle pain, and stiffness
- possible high levels of γ-carboxyglutamic acid in tissues and urine
Calcinosis universalis manifests as long bands of symmetrical subcutaneous calcification seen extending along deep fascial planes. Tendon and ligamental involvement has been described.
Unlike tumoral calcinosis, it is plaque or sheet like rather than mass like. The calcifications tend to be coarser and larger than those seen in hyperparathyroidism or chronic renal disease. It can be distinguished from heterotopic ossification by the absence of organized bone formation and the lack of previous trauma or injury.
Treatment and prognosis
No established therapy is recognized, but calcium chelates (EDTA) bisphosphonates, and steroids have been used with little consistent benefit. Local surgical excision of symptomatic calcinosis has been shown to relieve symptoms in cases.
- fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva
- myositis ossificans
- localized rather than bilateral and symmetrical
- 1. Santili C, Akkari M, Waisberg G et-al. Calcinosis universalis: a rare diagnosis. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2005;14 (4): 294-8. Pubmed citation
- 2. Olsen KM, Chew FS. Tumoral calcinosis: pearls, polemics, and alternative possibilities. Radiographics. 2006;26 (3): 871-85. Radiographics (full text) - doi:10.1148/rg.263055099 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Stewart VL, Herling P, Dalinka MK. Calcification in soft tissues. JAMA. 250 (1): 78-81. Pubmed
- 4. Valenzuela A, Chung L. Calcinosis: pathophysiology and management. Current opinion in rheumatology. 27 (6): 542-8. doi:10.1097/BOR.0000000000000220 - Pubmed
- 5. Cuong Le, Paul M. Bedocs. Calcinosis Cutis. (2020) Pubmed