Content » Vol 94, Issue 3

Clinical Report

Calciphylaxis Is a Cutaneous Process Without Involvement of Internal Organs in a Retrospective Study of Postmortem Findings in Three Patients

Louise K. Andersen, Julia S. Lehman, Mark D.P. Davis
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1652


Calciphylaxis causes calcification, thrombosis, cutaneous ischemia, and necrosis in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. It is unclear to what extent it involves other organs. To identify whether other organs are affected we reviewed pathology reports of patients with calciphylaxis who underwent autopsy at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, between January 1, 1970, and December 31, 2011.
Three patients were identified: two patients had a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease secondary to diabetes mellitus before the diagnosis of calciphylaxis; the third patient had calciphylaxis associated with metastatic cholangiocarcinoma without end-stage renal disease. Autopsy reports showed that despite evidence of vessel calcification elsewhere, there was no evidence of calciphylaxis in other organs. All patients had histopathologic evidence of cardiovascular calcification, and atherosclerosis of coronary arteries and aorta. Calcification of pancreatic vessels and renal vessels was also noted. In this study population, calciphylaxis was a cutaneous process alone.


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