For healthcare professionals only

Papers And Originals

Active Uptake of Copper and Zinc during Haemodialysis

Br Med J 1969; 2 doi: (Published 19 April 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;2:141
  1. Jeanette Blomfield,
  2. Jean McPherson,
  3. C. R. P. George


    The uptake of copper and zinc by patients undergoing regular haemodialysis has been assessed by measuring the dialysis fluid for copper and zinc concentration, and the blood entering and leaving the dialysis coil for red cell copper, plasma free copper, and plasma zinc levels during priming of the coil and subsequent haemodialysis, and by in-vitro studies.

    Red cells avidly removed copper from dialysis fluid when mixed with saline during priming, but did not take up copper during the haemodialysis. At both these stages plasma actively took up both copper and zinc from dialysis fluid, even against a concentration gradient, so that loss of these metals from plasma to dialysis fluid did not occur.

    In the dialysis systems investigated the sources of the copper in the dialysis fluid were the copper plumbing of the tap-water and the dialysis coil, and the major source of zinc was the zinc oxide of the adhesive plaster around the dialysis coil.