Small case series suggest that sodium thiosulfate could be an effective treatment for calciphylaxis, a rare but potentially fatal condition seen mostly in dialysis patients. No standardized therapy exists.
In a recent study of 8 calciphylaxis patients (2 without related renal risk factors) who received sodium thiosulfate in different dosing schemes, 4 achieved complete healing of skin lesions, and 2 had stabilization of disease while experiencing pain relief, Pieter Bourgeois, MD, and Petra De Haes, MD, of University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, reported in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment. In the 2 remaining patients who had disease progression, sodium thiosulfate treatment resulted in analgesia. Overall, 7 patients had some benefit from the drug, although 4 patients eventually died from causes related to calciphylaxis.
Promising results also emerged from a recent French study of 4 end-stage renal disease patients with calciphylaxis. All patients experienced complete resolution of pain and trophic disorders following treatment with sodium thiosulfate, Stéphanie Malbos, MD, Hôpital Lariboisière in Paris, and colleagues reported in Joint Bone Spine (2016;83:89-92). Two patients experienced nausea and vomiting. No recurrences developed during a follow-up of 5–17 months after treatment discontinuation.