This article is about calcification of body tissue. For calcification of water pipes, see Hard water

Calcification is the process in which calcium salts build up in soft tissue, causing it to harden. Calcifications may be classified on whether there is mineral balance or not, and the location of the calcification.



Calcification of soft tissue (arteries, cartilage, heart valves, etc) can be caused by Vitamin K deficiency or by poor calcium absorption due to a high calcium/vitamin D ratio. This can occur with or without a mineral imbalance.

Intake of excessive Vitamin D can cause Vitamin D poisoning and excessive intake of calcium from the intestine, when accompanied by a deficiency of vitamin K (perhaps induced by an anticoagulent such as warfarin). This can result in calcification of arteries and other soft tissue.[1] Such metastatic soft tissue calcification is mainly in tissues containing "calcium catchers" such as elastic fibres or sour mucopolysacharides. These tissues especially include the lungs (pumice lung) and the aorta.[2]

Mineral balance


Calcification can manifest itself in many ways in the body. Several conditions can be caused by poor calcium absorption:



Patterns of calcifications may indicate pathological processes. Laminated appearance suggests granulomatous disease while popcorn calcification indicate hamartoma. Malignant lesions may have stippled or eccentric lesions.


Treatment of high calcium/vitamin D ratio may most easily be accomplished by intake of more vitamin D if vitamin K is normal. Intake of too much vitamin D would be evident by anorexia, loss of appetite, or soft tissue calcification.

See also


  1. ^ Paul Price, et al, "Warfarin-Induced Artery Calcification Is Accelerated by Growth and Vitamin D", Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, year=2000, volume=20, pages=317-327
  2. ^ Pathologic basis of veterinary disease, McGavin, Zachary; fourth edition; Elsevir 2007
  • Pathologic basis of veterinary disease, McGavin, Zachary; fourth edition; Elsevir 2007

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  • calcification — calcify ► VERB (calcifies, calcified) ▪ harden by deposition of or conversion into calcium carbonate or other calcium salts. DERIVATIVES calcification noun …   English terms dictionary

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