Successful treatment of a patient with severe calcific uremic arteriolopathy (calciphylaxis) by etidronate disodium

Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Jul;48(1):151-4. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2006.04.062.


A 59-year-old woman with a 10-year history of hemodialysis was admitted to our hospital for painful skin ulcers on her right thigh, right calf, and left upper arm. A whole-body plain computed tomographic scan showed diffuse calcification of the uterus and marked calcification of the mitral valve. Skin biopsy specimens from the left thigh showed calcium deposition in numerous small blood vessels in the dermis and fat, leading to a diagnosis of calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA). Despite antibiotic therapy and aggressive wound care for 2 months, the skin ulcers enlarged and the patient's general condition worsened. Surprisingly, oral administration of etidronate disodium (200 mg/d) strikingly improved the focal infection and decreased the size of the skin ulcers within several days. She was discharged from the hospital 2 months later, when epithelialization of the ulcers was almost complete. We report a case of CUA that was improved dramatically by treatment with etidronate. Etidronate therapy should be considered for refractory CUA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calciphylaxis / drug therapy*
  • Calciphylaxis / etiology
  • Etidronic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Skin Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Etidronic Acid