What is Calciphylaxis?

Summary

  • Calciphylaxis is a rare, but disastrous complication of chronic kidney disease, associated with extremely high mortality and possibly occurring with increasing incidence. In general, treatment aims at lowering the calcium x phosphorous product. In some cases with clinically significant hyperparathyroidism, parathyroidectomy must be considered. Treatment with vitamin K antagonists should be discontinued and replaced by heparin. Novel scientific insights point to a pathophysiological role of deficiencies of calcification inhibitors (MGP, Fetuin-A) in the induction and manifestation of calciphylaxis.
 
  • New potential therapeutic strategies including vitamin K supplementation, calcimimetics, bisphosphonates and sodium thiosulfate may find their way into clinical practice in the future. However, currently they must be considered with appropriate caution on an individual basis. Information obtained by calciphylaxis registries will hopefully contribute to improvements in the outcome of this dangerous condition.