Intestinal ischemia and peripheral gangrene in a patient with chronic renal failure

Jesuús Rivera-Nieves*, Giorgos Bamias, Stephen J. Bickston, Fabio Cominelli, Jonathan Alfert, Christopher A. Moskaluk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal complications are common in patients with renal failure and result in significant morbidity and mortality. Systemic calciphylaxis is an uncommon complication of renal failure, characterized by disseminated intravascular calcification and associated with progressive vascular compromise. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with abdominal pain, elevated transaminases, and skin manifestations consistent with a vasculitic process. Hand films and skin biopsies showed extensive vascular calcification, and a computerized tomography scan confirmed colonic perforation and disseminated visceral vascular calcification. Histologic analysis of the resected skin and colonic tissues revealed extensive ischemic damage and mural calcification of medium to large vessels. Gastrointestinal involvement has been reported in only 3 prior cases of calciphylaxis; consequently, gastroenterologists are often unaware of this disease entity and may fail to recognize it, even in patients with the classical presentation. Prompt diagnosis is crucial, as parathyroidectomy may result in clinical improvement in up to two thirds of patients who present with elevated parathyroid hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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