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David H. Peng, MD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University, Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center, 450 Broadway, Pavilion C, 2nd Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063; or email:


Calciphylaxis is a disease in which metastatic calcification affects small- and medium-sized vessels resulting in significant dermatologic manifestations. Lesions typically occur over areas of high fat content and progress to black leathery eschars. Calciphylaxis is associated with intense pain and markedly increased risk of infection, often leading to sepsis requiring hospitalization. Diagnosis is made by clinical history and skin biopsy. Management of calciphylaxis is interdisciplinary, emphasizing factors such as primary prevention, proper wound care, pain control, and hormone and mineral balance. Although calciphylaxis carries a high mortality rate, symptomatic treatment has shown promise as a method for controlling disease progression.