Palliative care utilization in calciphylaxis: a single-center retrospective review of 121 patients (1999–2016)

Emily E. Gaster, Christie A. Riemer, Jenna L. Aird, Brian J. King, Rokea A. el-Azhary, Barbara D. Wilson, Jacob J. Strand, Kelly L. Wu, James F. Cleary, Christine M. Lohse, Julia S. Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Calciphylaxis is a debilitating dermatological condition associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Palliative care offers a multidisciplinary approach to addressing symptoms and goals of care in patients with serious medical diagnoses. Involvement of palliative services for calciphylaxis is infrequently reported in the literature. The purpose of this report is to assess rates of palliative and pain consultation for patients with calciphylaxis. Methods: This is a comprehensive, single-institution retrospective chart review of 121 eligible patients with a diagnosis of calciphylaxis treated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from 1999 to 2016. Inclusion criteria were an indisputable diagnosis of calciphylaxis based on clinical, histopathologic, and radiographic features. One hundred twenty-one patients met inclusion criteria. Results: Fifty-one patients (42%) received either a palliative (n = 15) or pain (n = 20) consultation, or both (n = 16). Patients with a palliative care consultation were younger compared with those without (mean ages 57 vs. 62 years, P = 0.046). In 104 patients (86%), psychiatric symptoms were not assessed. Conclusions: In this cohort of patients with calciphylaxis, the majority do not receive palliative and pain care consultations. Psychiatric complications are inconsistently addressed. These observations highlight practice gaps in the care of patients with calciphylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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