Intersternocostoclavicular ossification is a benign arthro-osteitis of the upper anterior chest of unknown cause. Two patients with acute exacerbation of this disorder were successfully treated with intramuscular injections of an eel calcitonin analogue (40 units three times a week). Besides symptomatic relief of local pain and swelling, serial scintigrams showed quantitative improvement in radiophosphonate uptake. The rapid alleviation of pain implies that the hormone has a central analgesic effect, in addition to its direct influence on bone cells and antiinflammatory action. In one patient the disease was associated with palmoplantar pustulosis, which was cured with oral colchicine, whereas the other patient did not have such skin lesions. Despite a hypothetical link between palmoplantar pustulosis and intersternocostoclavicular ossification, colchicine had no beneficial impact on the bone pain. Salmon calcitonin delivered by nasal spray was tried for the second patient but failed, probably because of insufficient drug delivery. The initial favourable results described here warrant future use of calcitonin injection on a larger number of patients with intersternocostoclavicular ossification.
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