Management of Cutaneous Calciphylaxis
Advances in Therapy
Calciphylaxis is a deadly, painful disease with a 1-year mortality of up to 50%. The disease is commonly associated with patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), but it can manifest in non-uremic patients as well. In patients who are undergoing dialysis, the incidence of calciphylaxis can range from 0.04% to 4%. The progressive arterial calcification seen in calciphylaxis can affect multiple body organs, including the skin, brain, lungs, and muscle. In cutaneous calciphylaxis, painful and non-healing nodules, plaques, and ulcers may appear, increasing morbidity for patients. Diagnosis can be difficult, and the condition can clinically appear similar to other dermatological diseases, especially in non-uremic patients. Currently, skin biopsy with histological analysis is the most reliable method to help diagnose the condition. In certain cases, the use of medical imaging may be helpful. Treatment of pain in this condition can be difficult and should be multimodal and include wound care as well as modification of risk factors. Analgesic options include opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as well as analgesic options that are targeted for specific patients. There are currently multiple clinical trials underway that are studying targeted therapies for this condition.
Kodumudi, Vijay; Jeha, George M.; Mydlo, Nicholas; and Kaye, Alan D., "Management of Cutaneous Calciphylaxis" (2020). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 1540.