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A Soft-Tissue Calcification: Differential Diagnosis and Pathogenesis

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT:

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

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00109.x

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

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