The expression of CD 14 on monocytes and CD45 on monocytes and granulocytes was evaluated during hemodialysis by flow cytometric analysis in the ‘resting state’ and after in vitro stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). A comparison of complement activating cuprophane (CU) versus less complement activating polysulfone (PS) was undertaken. ‘Resting state’ CD45 expression on granulocytes increased markedly during CU dialysis compared to time 0, whereas this rise was only moderate with PS (CU vs. PS, p < 0.01). When considering the increase in expression upon PMA stimulation, a lower value was obtained during CU dialysis for both CD14 (monocytes at 60 and 240 min) and for CD45 (monocytes and granulocytes at 15 min). In conclusion, granulocytes in the ‘resting state’ expressed more CD45 on their cell membranes during CU dialysis, whereas CD14 and CD45 upregulation after ex vivo addition of PMA was blunted during CU dialysis.