Calciphylaxis: Controversies in Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment

Am J Med Sci. 2016 Feb;351(2):217-27. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2015.11.015.


Calcific uremic arteriolopathy, otherwise known as calciphylaxis, is a rare disease characterized by skin ulceration and tissue necrosis, likely the result of vascular calcification with accompanying intimal hypertrophy and small vessel thrombosis. Although most often associated with end-stage renal disease, it has also been seen in a number of other disorders (collectively referred to as nonuremic calciphylaxis). The purpose of this review is to summarize and analyze the currently available literature regarding the pathophysiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, diagnostic features and treatment modalities for this exceptionally uncommon illness. A series of recommended treatments is proposed for optimal treatment of calciphylaxis lesions.

Keywords: Calcific uremic arteriolopathy; Calciphylaxis; Diagnosis; Pathogenesis; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calciphylaxis* / diagnosis
  • Calciphylaxis* / etiology
  • Calciphylaxis* / physiopathology
  • Calciphylaxis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Rats
  • Risk Factors