What is the role of biopsy in the workup of calciphylaxis?

Updated: Feb 24, 2020
  • Author: Julia R Nunley, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Punch biopsies may not be adequate because the quantity or depth of tissue obtained may not be enough for diagnosis. An incisional cutaneous biopsy is usually diagnostic. [41] Ample subcutaneous tissue must be available for adequate evaluation.

The decision to perform a biopsy on a nonulcerated lesion should not be made lightly because it could result in a nonhealing wound. Although lesions of calciphylaxis have a clinical appearance suggestive of avascular necrosis, the tissue often bleeds freely during surgery. Furthermore, lesional ulceration increases the mortality rate 2-fold.


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