Two cases of calciphylaxis treated by parathyroidectomy: Importance of increased bone formation

H. Maeda, M. Tokumoto, H. Yotsueda, M. Taniguchi, K. Tsuruya, H. Hirakata, M. Iida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Calciphylaxis (calcific uremic arteriolopathy) is a poorly understood and highly morbid syndrome of both vascular calcification and skin necrosis. The main histopathological finding is calcium deposits within arteriolar and small vessel walls, showing endovascular fibrosis associated with fat necrosis. The therapeutic strategy is to normalize the high calcium-phosphate products (Ca × P). When calciphylaxis is complicated with advanced renal hyperparathyroidism (HPT), parathyroidectomy (PTX) should be performed promptly. However, for patients with low PTH level, calciphylaxis is unresponsive to PTX, and such an approach may worsen hyperphosphatemia and hypercalcemia. We report two patients with calciphylaxis confirmed by skin biopsy. PTX was performed in both patients based on high PTH levels. PTH and Ca × P level decreased in both patients post PTX. In Case 1, the skin ulcers gradually improved and almost disappeared after PTX. However, in Case 2, new ulcers appeared after PTX. In Case 1, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) after PTX was approximately twice its level before surgery and PTX resulted in normalization of uptake on bone scintigraphy. However, no rise in ALP was noted in Case 2, probably due to long-term use of aluminum, which prevented bone formation. These findings suggest that differences in the extent of bone formation explain the different response in post-PTX ulcer healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-402
Number of pages6
JournalClinical nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology


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