A syndrome characterized by rapidly progressive ischemic necrosis involving large areas of the skin and muscle, and by peripheral gangrene associated with extensive vascular calcifications was observed in a patient with end-stage renal failure on chronic hemodialysis. In an effort to control the disease, parathyroidectomy was performed which resulted in rapid improvement of tissue perfusion. However, the patient eventually died from sepsis within 2 months after admission. This case presents the typical features of the syndrome of systemic, calciphylaxis. The literature is reviewed searching for similar cases of this poorly recognized, but life-threatening, clinical syndrome. The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and therapy of this unusual and rapidly progressive, but potentially reversible, condition are reviewed with emphasis on its prompt recognition and appropriate management.
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