Skip to main content

A Soft-Tissue Calcification: Differential Diagnosis and Pathogenesis

The full text article is not available.

At present, only title information is available on for this article. This is due to copyright restrictions.



An autopsy of a 72-year-old white male revealed a 30.5 × 5.1 cm vertically aligned heterotopic ossification just deep to a 30.5 cm midline abdominal scar. The ossified mass was determined to be a heterotopic ossification or myostitis ossificans (MO) traumatica resulting from an abdominal surgical incision during life. While, MO traumatica is relatively common accounting for roughly 60–75% of patients with soft-tissue ossification, heterotopic ossification of abdominal incisions are relatively rare and thus infrequently reported. This article details the manifestation of this relatively large heterotopic bone and provides a comprehensive review of the literature and pathogenesis of this unusual ossification. A review of the English literature from 1920 to the present produced only a handful of articles for a total of 185 reported cases. All had bone formed within vertical incisions, usually within 1 year of surgery, and 89% were males. Knowledge of this phenomenon and the variable size at presentation is useful to both the autopsy pathologist and the anthropologist in generating a diagnosis for abnormal calcifications.

Keywords: calcification; ectopic bone; forensic anthropology; forensic pathology; forensic science; heterotopic bone; myostitis ossificans; osteogenic induction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, MSC01 1050, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. 2: Office of the Medical Investigator, MSC11 6030, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

Publication date: 2006-05-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more