Patient Outcomes and Factors Associated with Healing in Calciphylaxis Patients Undergoing Adjunctive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

J Am Coll Clin Wound Spec. 2016 Aug 30;7(1-3):8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jccw.2016.08.004. eCollection 2015 Dec.

Abstract

Calcific uremic arteriolopathy, also known as calciphylaxis, is a rare syndrome of small vessel calcification of unknown etiology causing painful, violaceous skin lesions that progress to form chronic non-healing ulcers and gangrene. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be used as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of these ulcers. However, due to paucity of cases, there is limited data on the clinical benefit of HBOT and identifying factors associated with healing. The purpose of this study was to determine patient outcomes and factors associated with healing in patients with calciphylaxis undergoing HBOT. A retrospective chart review was completed on patients who were diagnosed with calciphylaxis and had hyperbaric medicine consultation between May 2012 and January 2016. Clinical outcomes, demographics, risk factors, laboratory values, wound distribution, and HBOT profiles were collected and analyzed. We identified 8 patients. Out of 8 patients consulted for calciphylaxis, five were consented and underwent HBOT (2 males and 3 females). All had coexisting ESRD and Diabetes. All males were able to tolerate being in the chamber and received therapeutic treatments (at least 20 HBOT) with complete resolution of ulcers. HBOT was discontinued in one female due to an inconsistent biopsy report and two others due to death secondary to septic shock or respiratory arrest and severe uremia. Calciphylaxis is a devastating disease with a high mortality rate. Our results demonstrated a positive response to HBOT especially when receiving at least 20 treatments. A majority of calciphylaxis cases are females and indeed female gender has been cited as a risk factor for this disease. However, current literature has not conferred a relationship between gender nor the number of HBOT received and outcomes. Our results showed that males had a more favorable outcome provided they received at least twenty HBOT. Further prospective studies are needed to elucidate these outcomes.

Keywords: Calciphylaxis; Hyperbaric; Oxygen.