Leukopenia and Hypoxemia: Unrelated Effects of Hemodialysis

Francis Dumler, Nathan W. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Hemodialysis-induced hypoxemia has been attributed to membrane-related complement activation leading to pulmonary leukostasis and to hypoventilation secondary to carbon dioxide losses via the dialyzer. We have separately assessed the role of membrane- and dialysis-related factors by using different dialyzers and sequential ultrafiltration and hemodialysis. Hemodialysis with first-use cellulose dialyzers produced both leukopenia and hypoxemia. With reused cellulose and polyacrylonitrile dialyzers, hypoxemia still occurred, but without leukopenia. Ultrafiltration produced leukopenia and no changes in Pao2; during the subsequent hemodialysis, hypoxemia developed as the leukocyte count increased by 50%. Our data indicate that leukopenia and hypoxemia are unrelated effects of hemodialysis, and favor hypoventilation as the major determinant of hypoxemia during hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1106
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1979
Externally publishedYes


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