Calciphylaxis: Early Detection and Off-Label Treatment With Sodium Thiosulfate

Nicholas London, Ahmad Eter


Calciphylaxis or calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA) is a rare disorder of calcium and phosphate metabolism most often manifesting in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The typical clinical picture is that of a necrotic cutaneous ulceration with focal or diffuse distribution, most often manifesting on the lower extremities. We report a 49-year-old Caucasian male with ESRD on hemodialysis who presented to the emergency department with complaints of lower extremity pain and multiple cutaneous necrotic lesions on his lower extremities. Patient reports seeking assistance from several medical providers over a 3-month period. Upon admission and further evaluation, a diagnosis of calciphylaxis was made clinically and confirmed by a skin biopsy. Sodium thiosulfate was initiated and the clinical picture improved significantly. Sodium thiosulfate is traditionally used as an antidote for cyanide poisoning, and it has demonstrated beneficial outcomes in most patients afflicted with CUA. The rationale behind sodium thiosulfate therapy in CUA is its role in chelating calcium into calcium thiosulfate, which increases its solubility leading to improved renal clearance. It is essential to raise awareness amongst physicians and medical practitioners alike, as early recognition and initiation of appropriate treatment can improve the patients quality of life and more importantly, decrease mortality.

World J Nephrol Urol. 2017;6(3-4):25-28


Calciphylaxis; Calcific uremic arteriolopathy; End-stage renal disease; CKD; Sodium thiosulfate; Necrosis; Biopsy

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World Journal of Nephrology & Urology, quarterly, ISSN 1927-1239 (print), 1927-1247 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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