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Removing the problem: parathyroidectomy for calciphylaxis


Calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA), widely known as calciphylaxis, is a rare and lethal disease that usually affects patients with end-stage renal disease. It is characterised by widespread vascular calcification leading to tissue ischaemia and necrosis and formation of characteristic skin lesions with black eschar. Treatment options include sodium thiosulfate, cinacalcet, phosphate binders and in resistant cases, parathyroidectomy. We report a case of recurrent, treatment-resistant CUA successfully treated with parathyroidectomy. Her postoperative course was complicated by hungry bone syndrome and worsening of her wounds before they completely healed. We then discuss the morbidity of CUA, including the controversy around the use of parathyroidectomy and risk of aggressive management of hungry bone syndrome.

  • renal medicine
  • dialysis
  • endocrine system
  • calcium and bone
  • skin

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