Case Report

Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 70-74

First online:

Calcinosis cutis universalis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Antonio G. TristanoAffiliated withServicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Dr. Domingo Luciani Email author 
  • , José L. VillarroelAffiliated withServicio de Reumatología, Hospital Universitario de Caracas
  • , María A. RodríguezAffiliated withServicio de Dermatología, Hospital Universitario de Caracas
  • , Alberto MillanAffiliated withServicio de Reumatología, Hospital Universitario de CaracasServicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Caracas

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Deposition of calcium salts in the skin and subcutaneous tissue occurs in a variety of rheumatic diseases, being most commonly associated with scleroderma, CREST (calcinosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia), dermatomyositis, and overlap syndromes but is a rare complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Calcinosis is classified into four subsets: dystrophic, metastatic, idiopathic, or calciphylaxis/iatrogenic. The pathophysiology of calcinosis cutis remains unclear. Our patient developed extensive areas of calcifications in the trunk and extremities (calcinosis universalis) 8 years after SLE diagnosis, which would correspond to a form of dystrophic calcification. No response was observed after treatment with oral diltiazem for 3 months. We review the literature on the pathogenesis and prevalence of calcinosis universalis in SLE.


Calcinosis cutis Calcinosis universalis Leg ulcers Systemic lupus erythematosus