Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 187–191 | Cite as

Efficacy of low-dose desferrioxamine for the estimation of aluminium overload in naemodialysis patients

  • M. J. A. Janssen
  • W. P. L. van Boven


In haemodialysis patients the desferrioxamine (DFO) test is an accepted method for estimating the body content of aluminium. However, toxic side effects have been frequently reported with the high-dose (30 or 40 mg/kg) DFO tests. To study if a low-dose (500 mg) DFO test was also useful and free of side effects, we compared it with a high-dose DFO test in 22 patients on regular haemodialysis.

During the first two hours of dialysis, 500 mg DFO in 100 ml 0.9% NaCl were administered intravenously. Before dialysis and after 48 hours aluminium concentration was determined in serum. In 14 patients the low-dose DFO test was considered positive. In 11 of those 14 patients the high-dose (30 mg/kg) DFO test was positive too. Analysis of the results showed a significant correlation (p < 0.05) between the outcome of the two DFO tests in the same patient. Compared to the high-dose DFO test, the low-dose test revealed a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 63%.

In contrast with the high-dose DFO test, the low-dose DFO test showed no toxic side effects.

We conclude that the low-dose DFO test might be a reliable and safe method for the estimation of the body content of aluminium in patients on regular haemodialysis.


Aluminium toxicity Desferrioxamine Haemodialysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. A. Janssen
    • 1
  • W. P. L. van Boven
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospital Pharmacy Midden-BrabantTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of NephrologySt Elisabeth HospitalTilburgThe Netherlands

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