Clinical implications of pathogenic calcium crystals

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2014 Mar;26(2):192-6. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000038.


Purpose of review: The role of intraarticular calcifications has been challenged over the past years, with respect to cartilage destruction, especially in osteoarthritis.

Recent findings: Main themes reviewed in this article will discuss prevalence of articular cartilage calcifications, mechanisms of cartilage calcifications, and mostly the pathogenic role of both calcium pyrophosphate and basic calcium phosphate crystals.

Summary: A direct pathogenic role of both calcium crystals has been depicted, in cartilage as a crystal-induced stress, or via acute or chronic crystal-induced synovitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Phosphates / chemistry
  • Calcium Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate / chemistry
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate / metabolism
  • Cartilage, Articular / metabolism
  • Chondrocalcinosis / etiology
  • Chondrocalcinosis / metabolism
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Crystallization
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / etiology
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate