The fall in white blood cells (WBC) and arterial oxygen pressure that occurs during hemodialysis was investigated as a function of different dialysis membranes and different sterilization methods. 8 chronic hemodialysis patients were studied and each was dialyzed with three different membranes: cellulosic hollow fiber, polyacrylonitrile flat sheet and polymethylmethacrylate hollow fiber. Each dialyzer was studied with a dry sterilization method and after formalin treatment. Arterialized blood gas, bicarbonate and WBC were drawn at various intervals throughout dialysis. The effect of the sterilization method was minimal. Cellulosic membranes were shown to cause significantly more neutropenia (p less than 0.001) and hypoxemia (p less than 0.01) than the other two membranes. No significant differences was seen in pH, PCO2 and bicarbonate. The results indicate differences in biocompatibility between different membranes. Clinical implications are discussed.