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February 1, 1936

MECHANISM OF CALCIFICATION

JAMA. 1936;106(5):384. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770050040012
Abstract

A number of theories have been proposed to explain the phenomenon of the deposition of calcium salts, chiefly calcium phosphate and carbonate, in certain animal tissues. One of the more widely quoted theories1 attaches most importance to the tension of carbon dioxide in the tissue involved. Serum, it is pointed out, contains calcium and inorganic phosphorus in much higher concentrations than does water alone, partly because of the presence of carbon dioxide in rather large amounts. Likewise, the carbon dioxide tension in active tissues is high and calcium salts remain in solution. In inactive tissues, however, much less carbon dioxide is present and the precipitation of calcium phosphate is thus decidedly favored. A comparison of the amount of carbon dioxide in tissues that are most susceptible to calcification, such as cartilage and the trabeculae of bone, with those not showing calcification bears out this hypothesis. The recent report2

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