To determine if you have calciphylaxis, your doctor will review your medical history, assess your symptoms and do a physical exam. Tests may include:
- Deep skin biopsy. To diagnose calciphylaxis, your doctor may remove a small tissue sample from an area of affected skin for analysis.
- Blood tests. Mayo Clinic labs will analyze a blood sample to measure a variety of substances in your blood — calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, aluminum, urea nitrogen, creatinine and albumin, among others — to help your doctor assess your kidney and liver function.
- Imaging studies. X-rays may show branch-like calcium deposits in the blood vessels (vascular calcifications) that are common in calciphylaxis. However, vascular calcifications are also common in other advanced kidney diseases.
Read more about the blood urea nitrogen (BUN test), creatinine test and liver function tests.
June 18, 2015
- Santos PW, et al. Calciphylaxis (calcific uremic arteriolopathy). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 7, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. How is calciphylaxis treated? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. What tests are used to diagnose calciphylaxis? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Nigwekar SU, et al. Calciphylaxis: Risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. In press. Accessed May 13, 2015.
- Wangen T, et al. Calciphylaxis: An unusual case with an unusual outcome. The American Journal of Nursing. 2014;114:24.
- Brandenburg VM, et al. Calciphylaxis in CKD and beyond. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2012;27:1314.
- Vedvyas C, et al. Calciphylaxis: A systematic review of existing and emerging therapies. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2012;67:e253.
- El-Azhary RA, et al. Retrospective analysis of tissue plasminogen activator as an adjuvant treatment for calciphylaxis. JAMA Dermatology. 2013;149:63.
- El-Azhary RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 6, 2015.
- Sluzevich JC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. May 26, 2015.