Distal calcific uremic arteriolopathy in a hemodialysis patient responds to lowering of Ca x P product and aggressive wound care

R. Russell, M. A. Brookshire, M. Zekonis, Sharon M. Moe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


Calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA; calciphylaxis), is reported in approximately 4% of patients receiving hemodialysis, and is characterized by skin lesions that may include firm plaques or subcutaneous nodules. The syndrome has been associated with the use of calcium-containing phosphate binders, high serum phosphorus levels, and elevated calcium x phosphorus (Ca x P) product. This report describes a 73-year-old white male with chronic renal failure due to diabetes mellitus and hypertension, who had been on home hemodialysis for 3 years. He developed CUA after an acute elevation in serum phosphorus (8.1 mg/dl) and Ca x P product (84.2), with painful skin lesions that rapidly progressed to become circumferentially located around the entire lower left extremity. The patient declined amputation, opting for a treatment approach that included aggressive management of phosphorus and calcium, more frequent dialysis, and rigorous wound care. All calcium-containing phosphate binders were discontinued. The patient was switched from calcitriol to paricalcitol, a less calcemic form of vitamin D replacement therapy, from which he was slowly weaned. Dialysis dose and frequency was also increased to 4 hours, 6 times weekly. The patient was given sevelamer hydrochloride (Renagel®) - a calcium-free phosphate binder - with meals at an initial dose of 6.4 g/day. After 5 months, the dose was increased to 8 g/day, with additional dietary counseling to restrict phosphorus intake. At this point, serum phosphorus decreased to 4.9 mg/dl and calcium levels had fallen to 8.5 mg/dl, compared to 9.5 - 10.4 mg/dl prior to diagnosis of CUA with an overall decline in the Ca x P product. Significant healing of the lesions was noted at 8 months following diagnosis, with near-total healing by 12 months. Our studies support that lowering of elevated serum phosphorus, calcium, and Ca x P product, together with aggressive wound care may contribute to the successful outcome of patients with CUA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalClinical nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA)
  • Calciphylaxis
  • Hemodialysis
  • Phosphate binders
  • Phosphorus
  • Sevelemer hydrochloride (Renagel®)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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