DURING the last few years interest in pathological calcification was revived after Selye's introduction of two entirely new biological phenomena, calciphylaxis and calcergy.1-4
Calciphylaxis is a condition of induced hypersensitivity by which the organism is able to send calcium selectively to certain tissues. It is interpreted as a defense reaction and not identical with either the typical metastatic or the merely dystrophic calcification.
Calcergy, on the other hand, is elicited, without previous sensitization, by administration of direct calcifiers or calcergens.
Usually, calciphylactic sensitization is brought about with a single high dose of dihydrotachysterol, a vitamin D derivative. If relatively small amounts of this compound are administered regularly, however, a progeria-like syndrome is induced which is reminiscent of premature senility, as described by Selye and Strebel5: calcification occurs in the arteries, the cartilaginous portions of the ribs, trachea, and larynx, accompanied by intense catabolism with atrophy of internal organs, loss
JAHNKE V, DALY JF. Histopathology of the Ear in a Progeria-like Syndrome of the Rat. Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(5):497–501. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030499007
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