A case report of pediatric calciphylaxis–a rare and potentially fatal under diagnosed condition

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Rationale:Though to be rare, calcific uremic arteriolophathy (CUA) is an ectopic calcification entity causing pain and disabilities in patients with chronic renal insufficiency, thus increasing the morbidity and mortality.Patient concern:We report a case of four years old boy admitted with acute respiratory failure. Physical examination revealed: irritability, purple subcutaneous hard nodules, tachypnea, dry spasmodic cough, respiratory rate 45/min, heart rate 110/min, blood pressure 100/60 mmHg, with normal heart sounds, no murmurs, hepatomegaly with hepato-jugular reflux. He was diagnosed at 2 years old with stage 5 chronic kidney disease due to untreated posterior urethral valve, and subsequently started peritoneal dialysis. He developed severe renal osteodystrophy, refractory to standard phosphate binders.Diagnoses:Pathology examination revealed the presence of diffuse calcifications involving the skin, brain, heart, lung, kidney, stomach and pancreas, consistent with the underlying diagnosis of CUA.Intervention:Apart from standard treatment for end stage renal disease and associated co-morbidities, intensive care procedures have been initiated: oxygen therapy, continuous positive airway pressure, inotropic medication (Dopamine, Dobutamine), anticonvulsants (Diazepam), and antiedematous therapy (Dexamethasone).Outcome:His pulmonary function rapidly deteriorated up to the severe hypoxemia, seizures and cardio-respiratory arrest, despite the initiation of intensive care measures.Lessons:A careful follow up of small children might detect in time an abnormal urinary pattern. The diagnosis of growth failure should also trigger urgent further investigation.

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