Painful ulcers in calciphylaxis - combined treatment with maggot therapy and oral pentoxyfillin

J Dermatolog Treat. 2001 Dec;12(4):211-4. doi: 10.1080/09546630152696035.


Background: Calciphylaxis is a rare syndrome developing predominantly in female patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) with secondary hyperparathyroidism. Skin lesions begin as superficial patches that quickly progress to painful necrotic ulcers. Histopathological findings are calcification of small arteries and arterioles and infarction of subcutis and skin. The prognosis of calciphylaxis is poor due to an increased risk of systemic infection.

Methods: We report on a 50-year-old woman suffering from calciphylaxis. Initial treatments were not tolerated due to pain and therefore the patient was treated with maggot therapy and 800 mg/day of oral pentoxyfillin.

Results: Over a period of 6 months a complete remission of her skin lesions was achieved.

Conclusion: Patients suffering from ulcers due to calciphylaxis may benefit from the use of maggot therapy, which cleanses ulcers and prevents systemic infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Calciphylaxis / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larva*
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pentoxifylline / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Pentoxifylline