Effect of body iron stores on serum aluminum level in hemodialysis patients

Nephron. 1992;61(2):158-62. doi: 10.1159/000186864.


To evaluate the influence of body iron stores on the serum aluminum (Al) level, we studied the correlation between iron status (the serum ferritin, serum iron and transferrin saturation) and serum Al levels in 68 severely anemic hemodialysis patients. Among them, 36 underwent the desferrioxamine (DFO) mobilization test. These 68 patients were divided into three groups according to their serum ferritin level. The basal Al level in the patient group was 41.4 +/- 37.4 micrograms/l (control, 4.1 +/- 2.4 micrograms/l). The serum Al level after DFO infusion of the patient group was 111.1 +/- 86.8 micrograms/l. A significantly higher basal Al and peak Al level after DFO infusion were found in group 1 patients (serum ferritin less than 300 micrograms/l) when compared to group 2 (serum ferritin 300-1,000 micrograms/l) and group 3 (serum ferritin greater than 1,000 micrograms/l) patients. A significant negative correlation between serum ferritin and basal serum Al (r = -0.544, p = 0.0001), as well as peak serum Al after DFO infusion (r = -0.556, p = 0.0001), was noted. Similarly, a negative relationship between serum Al (both basal and peak) and either serum iron or transferrin saturation was noted. However, there was no correlation between the serum Al level and the dosage of aluminum hydroxide. In conclusion, serum ferritin, serum iron and transferrin saturation were inversely correlated with serum Al in our hemodialysis patients. Iron deficiency may probably increase Al accumulation in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aluminum / blood*
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / administration & dosage
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / adverse effects
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Deferoxamine
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Transferrin / metabolism


  • Transferrin
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Ferritins
  • Aluminum
  • Iron
  • Deferoxamine