Aluminium interference in the treatment of haemodialysis patients with recombinant human erythropoietin

S. Casati, C. Castelnovo, M. Campise, C. Ponticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In nine chronic haemodialysis patients a desferrioxamine (DFO) load test (40 mg/kg body-weight) was performed 1 year after the beginning of treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo). The patients were then divided into two groups. Group A comprised five patients with a greater mean aluminium (204 ± 28 μg/l) than the four patients in group B. Group A was given a mean dose of 25.8 g (range 14-39 g) of DFO over 6 months. Group B (aluminium values 112 ± 36 μg/l) was never treated with DFO. During the period of observation, plasma iron, serum ferritin and transferrin, as well as iron supplementation, did not differ between the groups. After DFO treatment a second DFO load test was performed. The mean predialysis aluminium value was significantly reduced in group A (204 ± 28 vs 111 ± 72 μg/l; P <0.05), while remaining unchanged in group B (112 ± 36 vs 140 ± 39 μg/l; P = ns). In both groups, the doses of rHuEpo necessary to maintain the same haemoglobin values decreased with time, but reduced significantly only in group A (298 ± 105 vs 110 ± 61 μg/kg per week; Δ -63%; P <0.01). Thus, aluminium interferes with the response to rHuEpo in haemodialysis patients, and the correction of aluminium overload with DFO can allow a considerable sparing of rHuEpo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-443
Number of pages3
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • aluminium
  • anaemia
  • desferrioxamine
  • haemodialysis
  • recombinant human erythropoietin, rHuEpo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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