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Journal Articles Chemical Reviews Year : 2012

Characterization and Some Physicochemical Aspects of Pathological Microcalcifications


Several major diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular abnormalities, may be linked to pathological deposition of minerals or organic compounds in various tissues. Thus, the detection of such minerals or compounds and understanding the physicochemical processes associated with their formation are essential. As underlined by Schmidt et al., in Europe and the U.S., breast cancer will occur in 1 in 10 women. If clustered calcifications are one of the mammographic signs of early breast cancer, their chemical nature must be determined. More precisely, calcium phosphates (CaPs) are frequently associated with malignancy, but calcium oxalates are present in benign lesions. From a medical viewpoint, pathological calcifications refer to at least three very different families of biominerals: concretions, metastatic calcifications and dystrophic calcifications. Concretions are found in hollow organs or ducts of the body. For example, kidney stones are solid concretions of dissolved minerals in urine found in the kidney. In contrast, metastatic and dystrophic calcifications, which can be considered ectopic calcifications, are defined as unexpected biomineralization occurring in soft tissues. In the absence of a systemic mineral imbalance, dystrophic calcification is often associated with tissue alteration or necrosis. In contrast, metastatic calcifications resulting from mineral imbalance are more systemic and affect various tissues (e.g., vessels, lungs, kidneys). A fourth family can be considered physiological calcification (bone), which becomes pathological with diseases such as arthrosis or osteoporosis.
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hal-01073611 , version 1 (10-10-2014)



Dominique Bazin, Michel Daudon, Christèle Combes, Christian Rey. Characterization and Some Physicochemical Aspects of Pathological Microcalcifications. Chemical Reviews, 2012, vol. 112, pp. 5092-5120. ⟨10.1021/cr200068d⟩. ⟨hal-01073611⟩
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