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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Parathyroidectomy as a Cure for Calciphylaxis in a Non-Dialysis Chronic Kidney Disease Patient?

Unknown ethiology, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment

Rabih Nasr, Haider Ghazanfar

USA Department of Internal Medicine, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, NY, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1170-1174

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.917105

Available online:

Published: 2019-08-09


BACKGROUND: Calciphylaxis is a rare and fatal systemic disease which most commonly occurs in patients with end-stage renal disease. It is a poorly understood vascular calcification with unclear pathology that leads to vascular compromise due to vascular occlusion with endoluminal calcification.
CASE REPORT: We report a case of a 61-year-old male with chronic kidney disease stage 5 who developed calciphylaxis. The patient was diagnosed with dry gangrene of the second and third digits of the right hand and second, third, and fourth phalanges of the left hand. Despite medical therapy and local wound care, the lesions progressively worsened with time. The patient was found to have secondary hyperparathyroidism (parathyroid hormone was 1028 pg/mL) and underwent subtotal parathyroidectomy. In our patient, the skin lesions due to calciphylaxis completely resolved over the course of 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Parathyroidectomy has been associated with clinical benefit in patients with calciphylaxis. Clinicians should consider parathyroidectomy in the setting of high parathyroid hormone and calciphylaxis. Although parathyroidectomy is an effective treatment option for calciphylaxis it is not a definitive treatment and calciphylaxis can occur, though rarely, even after parathyroidectomy. There is a need to do further studies in order to confirm the efficacy of parathyroidectomy.

Keywords: calciphylaxis, Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary, Parathyroidectomy, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic, vascular calcification