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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 523405, 5 pages
Research Article

Premature Calcifications of Costal Cartilages: A New Perspective

1Department of Radiooncology, General Hospital, Carinagasse 47, 6800 Feldkirch, Austria
2Department of Radiology, General Hospital, 6900 Bregenz, Austria

Received 25 November 2014; Accepted 9 December 2014; Published 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Ali Guermazi

Copyright © 2014 Walter Rhomberg and Antonius Schuster. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Calcifications of the costal cartilages occur, as a rule, not until the age of 30 years. The knowledge of the clinical significance of early and extensive calcifications is still incomplete. Materials and Methods. A search was made to find patients below the age of 30 years who showed distinct calcifications of their lower costal cartilages by viewing 360 random samples of intravenous pyelograms and abdominal plain films. The histories, and clinical and laboratory findings of these patients were analyzed. Results. Nineteen patients fulfilled the criteria of premature calcifications of costal cartilages (CCCs). The patients had in common that they were frequently referred to a hospital and were treated by several medical disciplines. Nevertheless many complaints of the patients remained unsolved. Premature CCCs were often associated with rare endocrine disorders, inborn errors of metabolism, and abnormal hematologic findings. Among the metabolic disorders there were 2 proven porphyrias and 7 patients with a suspected porphyria but with inconclusive laboratory findings. Conclusion. Premature CCCs are unlikely to be a normal variant in skeletal radiology. The findings in this small group of patients call for more intensive studies, especially in regard to the putative role of a porphyria.