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Calciphylaxis: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment Options

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Calciphylaxis: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment Options

Calciphylaxis is an uncommon condition which manifests as painful skin ulcers due to occlusion of blood vessels in fat and skin through calcium deposits. Though common in patients with kidney failure or dialysis, it may also be present in individuals with no such risk factors. Other risk factors include female gender, obesity, diabetes, and PTH overproduction. Calciphylaxis can cause blood clots, which cause occlusion of small vessels leading to painful skin ulcers and fatal infections. The cause of calciphylaxis is idiopathic. However, it may be due to clotting abnormalities. Also, there is an abnormal calcium metabolism leading to deposition of calcium in arterioles. Symptoms of calciphylaxis are: -purple net-like patterns on skin -open sores with crust which do not heal -infections Complications of calciphylaxis are -moderate to severe pain -nonhealing ulcers -bacteremia and septicemia -multiorgan failure -death Diagnosis is made by: -skin biopsy -blood tests for levels of calcium, phosphorus, PRH, clotting factors, aluminum, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and albumin -radiology for calcium deposits Treatment options include -hyperbaric oxygen therapy -dialysis -stopping medications that are may potentially trigger calciphylaxis such as warfarin, steroids, vitamin D supplements, and calcium -medications such as sodium thiosulfate that decrease calcium buildup -surgery for parathyroidectomy -intensive wound care Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/calciphylaxis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370562 Image via https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-26794-4_32

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