What is calciphylaxis?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Lawrence Kim, MD, FACS, FACE; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Calciphylaxis, also known as uremic gangrene syndrome, is a rare disorder observed in patients with CKD, typically ESRD, and secondary or tertiary hyperparathyroidism. It is characterized by ischemic necrosis of the skin due to calcium phosphate crystal deposition and subsequent inflammation in small-to-medium–sized vessels. The exact mechanism is unknown because the product of the calcium value multiplied by the phosphate value is often near the reference range. The disease is often fatal. There is some evidence that the use of sodium thiosulfate, a chelator of calcium and iron, may improve wound healing and outcomes in patients with calciphylaxis. [69] Total parathyroidectomy may also reverse the necrosis and is occasionally done emergently.


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