Statin use and calcific uremic arteriolopathy: A matched case-control study

Sagar U. Nigwekar, Ishir Bhan, Alexander Turchin, Stephen C. Skentzos, Reza Hajhosseiny, David Steele, Rosalynn M. Nazarian, Julia Wenger, Samir Parikh, Ananth Karumanchi, Ravi Thadhani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Background: Calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA), also known as calciphylaxis, is characterized by vascular calcification, thrombosis and intense inflammation. Prior research has shown that statins have anticalcification, antithrombotic and antiinflammatory properties; however, the association between statin use and CUA has not been investigated. Methods: This matched case-control study included 62 adult maintenance hemodialysis (HD) patients with biopsy-confirmed CUA diagnosed between the years 2002 and 2011 (cases). All cases were hospitalized at the time of diagnosis. Controls (n = 124) were hospitalized maintenance HD patients without CUA (matched to cases by gender and timing of hospitalization). Univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were applied to compute odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for CUA in statin users, and also to examine previously described associations. -Results: The mean age of cases was 58 years. Most were females (68%), and of white race (64%). Statin use was more common in controls than in cases (39 vs. 19%, p < 0.01). Statin use was associated with lower odds of CUA in unadjusted (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.18-0.79) and adjusted (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05-0.88) analyses. Hypercalcemia (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.14-4.43), hypoalbuminemia (OR 5.73, 95% CI 2.79-11.77), calcitriol use (OR 5.69, 95% CI 1.02-31.77) and warfarin use (OR 4.30, 95% CI 1.57-11.74) were positively associated with CUA in adjusted analyses whereas paricalcitol and doxercalciferol were not (OR 1.33, 95% CI 0.54-3.27). Conclusion: Statin use may be negatively associated with odds of CUA. Further large prospective studies with attention to potential confounders are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcific uremic arteriolopathy
  • Calciphylaxis
  • Case control
  • Statin
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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