Flow cytometry allows an easy quantitation of reactive oxygen intermediate production and of C3bi receptor expression by granulocytes, thus providing a clinical tool to evaluate the hemodialysis-related granulocyte activation. In this flow-cytometric study, we analyzed the effects of cellulosic, synthetic polyacrylonitrile, and ethylene-vinyl-alcohol dialyzers on granulocyte membrane and function. Our results confirmed the data reported in the literature on granulocyte activation secondary to cellulosic membranes and the better bio-compatibility of synthetic dialyzers that did not increase C3bi receptor expression and reactive oxygen intermediate generation by granulocytes. The flow-cytometric analysis of granulocyte activation might be the method of choice to identify the best patient/membrane interaction in every single patient.

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