Basic calcium phosphate (BCP) crystals refer to a family of crystals including partially carbonate substituted hydroxyapatite, octacalcium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate. These crystals have been found in and around joints and have been associated with several forms of arthritis and periarthritis. Identification of BCP crystals remains problematic because of the lack of a simple, reliable analytic procedure. Methods currently in use include alizarin red S staining, labelled diphosphonate binding, scanning and transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, X-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy. Periarthropathies associated with BCP crystals include calcific tendinitis and bursitis. Intra-articular BCP crystal deposition is common in osteoarthritis, often found together with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals. Uncommon conditions in which BCP crystals are found include destructive shoulder arthropathies, acute inflammatory attacks of arthritis, and erosive arthritis. Secondary deposition of BCP crystals has been observed in chronic renal failure, in patients with "collagen vascular" diseases, following neurologic injury and after local corticosteroid injection.
Halverson, Paul B.
"Arthropathies Associated with Basic Calcium Phosphate Crystals,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 6
, Article 14.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol6/iss3/14