Because of their effect on the immune response, especially in patients with chronic or acute renal failure, factor D (FD) and the immunosuppressive complement fragment Ba are substances which may be important for the immunological status. Since they cannot be eliminated by conventional Cuprophan hemodialysis because of their high molecular weight (24,000 and 33,000 D, respectively), the effect of hemofiltration (HF) on the plasma concentration of both components was tested. It was shown that plasma levels of FD can be lowered by 43.5% during an HF treatment and the plasma concentration of Ba by 30.6%. Moreover, the two substances could be detected in the hemofiltrate. Up to 75 mg FD and up to 37 mg Ba could be eliminated per treatment, depending on the plasma concentrations and the filtration volume. A convective method such as chronic HF is therefore clearly superior to diffusive methods of blood purification when substances with such a high molecular weight have to be eliminated. It has still to be established whether the elimination of FD and Ba by chronic intermittent HF results in a sustained improvement in the immunological status of patients treated in this way.