Background: Calciphylaxis is characterized by ischemic cutaneous ulceration, high mortality, and ineffective treatment.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 64 patients with calciphylaxis (including 49 dialysis patients age- and sex-matched to 98 dialysis controls).
Results: The estimated 1-year survival rate of calciphylaxis was 45.8%. Risk factors for calciphylaxis included obesity, liver disease, systemic corticosteroid use, calcium-phosphate product more than 70 mg(2)/dL(2), and serum aluminum greater than 25 ng/mL. Survival rates were similar for 16 patients who received parathyroidectomy and 47 who did not. An estimated 1-year survival rate of 61.6% was observed for 17 patients receiving surgical debridement compared with 27.4% for the 46 who did not (P = .008).
Limitations: The study was limited by its retrospective design and there was no control group for the 15 nondialysis cases.
Conclusions: Calciphylaxis is multifactorial and usually fatal. Prevention of calciphylaxis may include correction of risk factors identified in this study. Surgical debridement was associated with improved survival, but parathyroidectomy was not.