Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 243–252 | Cite as

Recent Advances on Relationship Between Inorganic Phosphate and Pathologic Calcification: Is Calcification After Breast Augmentation with Fat Grafting Correlated with Locally Increased Concentration of Inorganic Phosphate?

  • Shangshan Li
  • Jie LuanEmail author
Original Article Basic Science/Experimental



Pathologic calcification has frequently occurred after breast augmentation with fat grafting as well as other conditions such as breast cancer, trauma, myocardial infarction, arteriosclerosis and even after reduction mammoplasty. Inorganic phosphate, correlated with fat metabolism, is an important factor that induces pathologic calcification such as vascular calcification.


A literature search was conducted using PubMed with the keywords: calcification, inorganic phosphate, fat. Studies related to the process of pathologic calcification, correlation between inorganic phosphate and pathologic calcification, between inorganic phosphate and fat metabolism in pathologic calcification were collected.


Various mechanisms were referred to in pathologic calcification among which inorganic phosphate played an important role. Inorganic phosphate could be liberated, under the effect of various enzymes, in the process of fat metabolism. The authors hypothesized that a large-scale necrotizing zone, which could occur in fat grafting with large amounts per cannula, might provide a high-phosphate environment which might contribute to differentiation of surrounding cells such as stem cells or regenerated vessel cells into osteoblast-like cells that induce pathologic calcification.


Inorganic phosphate, which was correlated with fat metabolism, played a significant role in pathologic calcification. We firstly hypothesize that calcification after fat grafting may be related to locally increasing concentrations of phosphate in a necrotizing zone. Further research should be conducted to verify this hypothesis.

Level of Evidence V

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Inorganic phosphate Pathological calcification Fat graft 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical Approval

All analyses were based on previous published studies, thus ethical approval is unnecessary.

Informed Consent

This study was based on previous published studies, thus informed consent was unnecessary.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical SciencesPeking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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