Background: Calciphylaxis is a form of widespread calcification that may occur in patients with renal disease and hyperparathyroidism. The skin is often affected secondary to vascular compromise and ischemia. Patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are predisposed to renal failure and thus may develop this serious complication. Objective: The purpose of this article is to describe two cases of fatal calciphylaxis in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and renal disease. Methods: Two patients were examined clinically and through the performance of serologic studies and skin biopsies. Results: Both patients had a widespread livedo reticularis—like eruption, which rapidly progressed to cutaneous gangrene. Patient 1 had elevated serum calcium and phosphorus levels whereas patient 2 had normal values but had markedly elevated serum parathyroid hormone levels. Biopsy specimens in both cases showed vascular thrombosis and soft tissue calcification. Conclusion: Widespread calcification may develop in patients with HIV infection and renal failure and, in some cases, calcium and phosphorus levels may be normal.
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