Pathologic deposition of mineral in the form of bone-like hydroxyapatite is a frequent occurrence in juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) and other connective tissue diseases. Although the sizes of the mineral crystals in JDM are similar to those in bone, there is much more mineral in the deposits than there is in bone. Bone matrix proteins also accumulate associated with the deposits. The reasons for the formation of these deposits are not known. It is our hypothesis that persistent inflammation is a component of JDM and other hydroxyapatite deposition diseases. Other contributing factors are genetic, environmental, and physical chemical. This paper discusses the influence of inflammation on the deposition of hydroxyapatite, with emphasis on the clinical and environmental factors that may facilitate the formation of calcific deposits in JDM.
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