Sagar Nigwekar, MD, MMSc, is using patient samples from the Partners Biobank to gain a better understanding of a rare but painful and debilitating disease called calciphylaxis.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
165 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114-2752
- MBBS, Seth G. S. Medical College
- Residency, Rochester General Hospital
- Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital
American Board Certifications
- Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
- Nephrology, American Board of Internal Medicine
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My research is primarily focused on the areas of calcific uremic arteriolopathy (CUA), a.k.a. calciphylaxis and vascular calcification in dialysis patients.
CUA, a dermal arteriolar calcification disorder seen in dialysis patients, has significant morbidity associated with complicated wounds and non-remitting pain and 60-80% one-year mortality. During my nephrology training, I saw many CUA cases and was astounded by the unmet research needs in the CUA field linked to: 1) Unclear pathogenesis and risk factors, 2) Non-existence of circulating diagnostic biomarkers considering the risk of non-healing ulceration from skin biopsy (the current diagnostic gold-standard) and, 3) Absence of effective therapy.
I am interested in understanding the risk factors and pathobiology of CUA, and to develop and examine strategies to effectively diagnose and treat CUA. In addition, I aim to apply the knowledge gained from CUA research to investigate other forms of vascular calcifications in dialysis patients. Over 70% of dialysis patients have coronary artery, aortic or valvular calcifications, and recent literature attributes 50% of cardiovascular deaths in dialysis patients to vascular calcifications. Although, Virchow described the predisposition to vascular calcifications in kidney disease over a century ago, the biology of vascular calcification remains unclear and this limits development and evaluation of treatment interventions. I believe that CUA research will serve as a high-speed template to understand the biology of vascular calcification and accelerate the T2 translational research in this field.