Use of the deferoxamine infusion test in the diagnosis of aluminum-related osteodystrophy

D. S. Milliner, H. G. Nebeker, S. M. Ott, D. L. Andress, D. J. Sherrard, A. C. Alfrey, E. A. Slatopolsky, J. W. Coburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The accumulation of aluminum in bone can cause disabling osteodystrophy in patients with renal failure. Because the chelating agent deferoxamine can mobilize aluminum from tissues, we evaluated the effect of a standard intravenous dose of deferoxamine on plasma aluminum concentrations in 54 patients on hemodialysis. Stainable bone aluminum, bone histologic findings, and bone aluminum content were studied. Baseline plasma aluminum concentrations or greater than 200 μg/L were associated with aluminum-related osteodystrophy (specificity, 93%), but concentrations of less than 200 μg/L did not exclude the diagnosis (sensitivity, 43%). After administration of deferoxamine, the increase in plasma aluminum concentration was 534 ± 260 (SD) and 214 ± 92 μg/L in patients with and without aluminum-related bone disease, respectively (p < 0.001), and correlated with the bone aluminum content (r = 0.64). An increment in plasma aluminum concentration of greater than 200 μg/L identified 35 of the 37 patients with aluminum-related osteodystrophy; sensitivity was 94% and specificity, 50%. The deferoxamine infusion test is noninvasive, well tolerated, and of value particularly in excluding the diagnosis of aluminum-related osteodystrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-780
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of the deferoxamine infusion test in the diagnosis of aluminum-related osteodystrophy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this