Vascular calcification

Hippokratia 2006, 10(2):60-67

G. Efstratiadis, E Tsirou, E Mantziari
Renal Dpt, Hippokratio General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece


Calcification is a process that results to calcium deposition in non-bone tissue. The present study focuses on the molecular mechanisms and the clinical significance of vascular calcification in accordance with atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus. The clinical significance of calcification in atherogenesis should be estimated in terms of its ability to affect the plaque stability. In diabetes, calcification seems to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality correlated with the complications of diabetic patients, initially those concerning the autonomic system. These two pathological conditions seem to have important similarities and differences in their molecular pathways. The identification of hydroxyapatite and the detection of all kinds of bone-tissue cells in the wall of the calcified arteries reveal that calcification, either in atherosclerosis or in diabetes, differs from the dystrophic deposition of calcium minerals, which is observed during chronic inflammation and tissue necrosis. Vascular calcification uses all the mechanisms of embryonic osteogenesis, concerning the chondrogenic or osteogenic differentiation.

Keywords: calcification, athrosclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease

Correspoding author: Efstratiadis G, e-mail: