Recent studies suggest that chronic inflammation plays a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Cytokines released from jeopardized tissues stimulate the liver to synthesize acute phase proteins, including C-reactive protein (CRP). Baseline levels of CRP in apparently healthy persons or in persons with unstable angina constitute an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. More recently, it has been suggested that CRP is useful not only as a marker of the acute phase response, but is also involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. CRP may, in fact, directly interact with the atherosclerotic vessels or ischemic myocardium by activation of the complement system, thereby promoting inflammation and thrombosis. Several studies in uremic patients have implicated CRP as a marker of malnutrition, resistance to erythropoietin, and chronic stimulation in hemodialysis. An increased cytokine production secondary to blood interaction with bioincompatible dialysis components has been reported by several studies; interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and mainly IL-6 are the three proinflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of hemodialysis-related disease. We have provided evidence for the occurrence of high CRP and IL-6 levels in chronic dialytic patients exposed to contaminate dialysate and suggest that backfiltration may induce a chronic, slowly developing inflammatory state that may be abrogated by avoiding backfiltration of contaminate dialysate. Therefore, CRP is implicated as a marker linking bioincompatibility associated with backfiltration and increased cytokine production with a clinical state of chronic inflammation.