Research Article

Aluminium accumulation and immunosuppressive effect in recipients of kidney transplants.

BMJ 1988; 297 doi: (Published 17 December 1988) Cite this as: BMJ 1988;297:1581
  1. K. P. Nordal,
  2. E. Dahl,
  3. D. Albrechtsen,
  4. J. Halse,
  5. T. Leivestad,
  6. S. Tretli,
  7. A. Flatmark
  1. Department of Medicine, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.


    Aluminium that has accumulated in the body is thought to have a generalised cytotoxic effect. A prospective study of aluminium accumulation in bone-that is, subclinical aluminium toxicity--was carried out in 94 recipients of kidney allografts, who were followed up for three years. Subclinical aluminium toxicity was found in 66 patients. A significantly smaller proportion of patients with aluminium accumulation experienced a rejection episode: 30 (58%) nu 12 (86%) who received grafts from cadavers and 4 (29%) nu 10 (71%) who received grafts from living donors. On multivariate analysis only the source of the kidney and aluminium accumulation were found to influence the rejection rate. These findings suggest that aluminium accumulation has an immunosuppressive effect.