Nine anesthetized pigs were subjected to short (90 min) sham dialysis with blood membrane contact with the aim to select effects of the artificial surface during dialysis. The importance of the neutrophil (PMN) was investigated by the selective isotope labelling, dynamically followed by γ-camera imaging and biochemical assays specifically oriented for PMN function. These assays included cell count, PMN aggregation, PMN luminescence, fibronectin and catalase activity. Aditionally, pulmonary and systemic hemodynamics and acid base balance were monitored. Sham dialysis induced an accumulation of labelled PMN attaining a maximum between 15 and 17 min. This was coupled with a time-related neutropenia, pulmonary vasoconstriction, increased in vitro PMN aggregation and luminescence response. The neutrophil response abated by the end of dialysis. Cardiac output and arterial blood pressure declined to a steady level after 30 min of sham dialysis. There was an insignificant decrease in catalase activity. All other parameters remained unaltered. The results indicate that PMN accumulates in the pulmonary vessels, in association with neutropenia and activation. The transience of the event points to a protective mechanisms of humoral and/or cellular character.