Calciphylaxis in the Setting of Hemodialysis, Liver Cirrhosis, and Warfarin Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation: An Argument for Alternative Anti-Embolic Therapy

Cureus. 2020 May 7;12(5):e8014. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8014.


Calciphylaxis, also referred to as calcific uremic arteriolopathy, is a rare, life-threatening cutaneous systemic disease that typically occurs in the setting of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is the most recognized risk factor for calciphylaxis but it is not the sole risk factor. Calciphylaxis has also been associated with liver cirrhosis with or without concurrent renal disease. The current case describes a patient who developed calciphylaxis in the setting of hemodialysis, liver cirrhosis, and atrial fibrillation managed with warfarin therapy, all risk factors for calciphylaxis. The need for alternatives to warfarin therapy, specifically in patients with atrial fibrillation on hemodialysis for ESRD who are at increased risk for calciphylaxis, is discussed. Specifically, the left atrial appendage occluder device is described and the need for interdisciplinary management of these patients is stressed.

Keywords: calcific uremic arteriopathy; calciphylaxis; cirrhosis; diffuse soft tissue calcinosis; hemodialysis; painful skin lesions; paroxysmal atrial fibrillation; skin necrosis; warfarin therapy; watchman.

Publication types

  • Case Reports