The Use of Deferoxamine in the Management of Aluminum Accumulation in Bone in Patients with Renal Failure

Hartmut H. Malluche, Albert J. Smith, Kenneth Abreo, Marie Claude Faugere

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184 Scopus citations


Aluminum frequently accumulates in patients with end-stage renal failure. We investigated the value of long-term, intermittent infusions of deferoxamine for the removal of aluminum from bone in seven patients undergoing long-term maintenance dialysis. Transient rises in serum aluminum levels occurred initially after treatment. Three patients who were studied by bone biopsy had absent or reduced levels of bone aluminum. Histologic studies of bone before and after therapy showed differences similar to those observed between patients with uremia who had an accumulation of aluminum in bone and those who did not. The diagnostic value of rises in the serum aluminum level after a single infusion of deferoxamine was studied in 12 patients with and 10 patients without aluminum accumulation in bone. All patients with bone aluminum had rises in serum aluminum levels, but rises were also observed in some patients without bone aluminum. Thus, the test cannot be used to diagnose aluminum accumulation in bone. Urinary aluminum levels increased significantly after a single infusion of deferoxamine in three patients with kidney transplants and accumulation of aluminum in bone. These findings indicate that deferoxamine is beneficial for the therapy of aluminum accumulation in the bone of patients with renal failure. (N Engl J Med 1984; 311: 140–4.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 19 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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