Calciphylaxis: emerging concepts in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

Semin Dial. 2002 May-Jun;15(3):172-86. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-139x.2002.00052.x.


Calciphylaxis is a small vessel vasculopathy involving mural calcification with intimal proliferation, fibrosis, and thrombosis. This syndrome occurs predominantly in individuals with renal failure and results in ischemia and necrosis of skin, subcutaneous fat, visceral organs, and skeletal muscle. The syndrome causes significant morbidity in the form of infection, organ failure, and pain. Mortality rates are high. In individuals with renal failure, risk factors for the development of calciphylaxis include female sex, Caucasian race, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. Many cases occur within the first year of dialysis treatment. Several recent reports demonstrate that prolonged hyperphosphatemia and/or elevated calcium x phosphorus products are associated with the syndrome. Protein malnutrition increases the likelihood of calciphylaxis, as does warfarin use and hypercoagulable states, such as protein C and/or protein S deficiency. Recent advances in diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies have helped in the management of patients with calciphylaxis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calciphylaxis* / diagnosis
  • Calciphylaxis* / prevention & control
  • Calciphylaxis* / therapy
  • Calcium / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Phosphorus / blood
  • Prognosis
  • Protein C Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Protein S Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / epidemiology
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin K Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • Phosphorus
  • Warfarin
  • Calcium