PDF OnlyCalciphylaxis in chronic renal failure.Budisavljevic, M N; Cheek, D; Ploth, D W Author Information Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-2220, USA. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN 7(7):p 978-982, July 1996. | DOI: 10.1681/ASN.V77978 Free Metrics Abstract Calciphylaxis is a rare and life-threatening complication that is estimated to occur in 1% of patients with ESRD each year. Typically, extensive microvascular calcification and occlusion/thrombosis leads to violaceous skin lesions, which progress to nonhealing ulcers and sepsis. Secondary infection of skin lesions is common, often leading to sepsis and death. The lower extremities are predominantly involved (roughly 90% of patients). Patients with skin involvement over the trunk or proximal extremities have a poorer prognosis. Although most calciphylaxis patients have abnormalities of the calcium:phosphate axis or elevated levels of parathyroid hormone, these abnormalities do not appear to be fundamental to the pathophysiology of the disorder, and the etiology of calciphylaxis remains unclear. Recently, functional protein C deficiency has been hypothesized to cause a hypercoagulable state that could induce thrombosis in small vessels, with resulting skin ischemia, necrosis, and gangrene. The lack of understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease results in treatments that are equally unsatisfactory. Patients who undergo parathyroidectomy have a tendency to improve, but the prognosis for the disease is poor and mortality remains high. Copyright © 1996 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.