Introduction: Chondrocalcinosis is a pathological condition characterized by the presence of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition in the soft tissues. Even if knee articular cartilage is the most involved anatomical area, different kind of tissue and joint can be affected by this disorder.
Methods: The aim of this manuscript is to analyze at histological and ultrastructural level the crystal deposition in shoulder soft tissue subjected to mechanical stress of patients affected by CPPD disease. Moreover, the cellular behavior in the same specimens has been investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy at variable distances from crystal deposits.
Results: An interesting relationship between CPPD and cellular impairment appears in humeral articular cartilage, joint capsule and long head of biceps brachii tendon sheath, where respectively chondrocytes and fibroblasts, close to crystal deposits, reveal numerous cell damages, such as chromatin condensation, dilation of organelles or cell membrane rupture.
Conclusion: Considering that cells far to the crystals are healthy, their behavior appears to be different from that of neighboring cells, then our preliminary results suggest a possible cause-effect relationship between events.
Level of evidence: basic science study.