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Am J Dermatopathol. 1996 Aug;18(4):396-9.

Calciphylaxis with histologic changes of pseudoxanthoma elasticum.

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Division of Dermatopathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA.


Calciphylaxis is a rare condition of widespread calcification of tissues and blood vessels with accompanying vascular thrombosis and ischemic necrosis. Most cases develop in association with hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic renal failure. Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a hereditary condition of abnormal elastic tissue structure that leads to widespread abnormalities of the skin, retina, and visceral organs. Histologic changes of PXE have been observed as coincidental findings in several conditions such as following trauma to the skin manifest as isolated plaques often in scars. We observed histologic findings of PXE in a patient with chronic renal failure who developed fatal calciphylaxis. Complete evaluation failed to reveal evidence of systemic findings of PXE. Histologic changes of PXE may be seen in patients with calciphylaxis as a coincidental finding. Rapidly developing soft tissue calcification may lead to the expression of the characteristic histopathologic findings of PXE without evidence of classic clinical manifestations of PXE. Calciphylaxis should be added to the list of disorders that may lead to microscopic PXE-like changes.

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