Aluminum-related bone disease

Blood Purif. 1988;6(1):1-15. doi: 10.1159/000169479.


Only rather recently has the biologic and pathogenetic relevance of aluminum, this most common metal come under serious scientific scrutiny. Various laboratory findings of accumulations of aluminum in the brain, kidney, liver, parathyroid glands, skeletal muscle, heart, lungs, pancreas and spleen as well as stainable aluminum in bone have spurred widespread interest in aluminum absorption and toxicity and in the mechanisms involved in the metabolism of aluminum. Since the kidney is the major excretory organ for aluminum, this report focuses on the abnormalities occurring with aluminum accumulation in the bone of patients with renal failure to determine the metabolic interrelationships of aluminum, parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, iron, and calcium. This editorial presents an overview of the most recent investigations of aluminum accumulation in humans, experimental animal models, and at the cellular level, presents the metabolic relationships known to exist as well as those strongly suggested in documented studies, and identifies those aspects of aluminum-related bone disease awaiting study in this increasingly important field of inquiry. The study outlines the metabolism of aluminum, the pathogenesis, prevalence, morbidity and mortality of aluminum-related bone disease, the histopathology of bone with aluminum accumulation, the recognized difficulties inherent in the diagnosis of aluminum-related bone disease, and the current understanding as relates to prevention and therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / metabolism
  • Aluminum / toxicity*
  • Bone Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Bone Diseases / pathology
  • Bone Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Osteomalacia / chemically induced
  • Osteomalacia / pathology
  • Renal Dialysis


  • Aluminum