Penile calciphylaxis: A retrospective case-control study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Dermatology; School of Medicine; Senior Scholars Program

Faculty Mentor

Daniela Kroshinsky

Publication Date


Document Type



Dermatology | Medical Education | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


BACKGROUND: Calciphylaxis is a rare disorder characterized by skin necrosis caused by calcium deposition within vessels, thrombosis, and subsequent tissue ischemia. Penile involvement may rarely occur.

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors, diagnosis, management, and mortality of patients with penile calciphylaxis.

METHODS: A retrospective medical record review was conducted of 16 patients with penile calciphylaxis treated at 2 large urban tertiary care centers between January 2001 and December 2019. A control group of 44 male patients with nonpenile calciphylaxis at the same institution was included.

RESULTS: The median survival of patients with penile calciphylaxis was 3.8 months (interquartile range, 27.0 months). Mortality was 50% at 3 months and 62.5% at 6 months for penile calciphylaxis, and 13.6% at 3 months and 29.5% at 6 months for controls (P = .008). Patients with penile calciphylaxis were less likely to be obese (P = .04) but more likely to have hyperparathyroidism (P = .0003) and end-stage renal disease (P = .049).

LIMITATIONS: Retrospective study design and small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: This study further defines the disease course of penile calciphylaxis, which has high mortality. Imaging may be used to aid diagnosis. Risk factors include end-stage renal disease, hyperparathyroidism, and normal body mass index.


calciphylaxis, diagnosis, management, outcomes, penile, risk factors

DOI of Published Version



Gabel C, Chakrala T, Shah R, Danesh MJ, Dobry AS, Garza-Mayers AC, Ko LN, Nguyen E, St John J, Walls AC, Nigwekar SU, Song PI, Kroshinsky D. Penile calciphylaxis: A retrospective case-control study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 May 15:S0190-9622(20)30906-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.05.042. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32422224. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology


Colleen Gabel participated in this study as a medical student in the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID