Inflammatory indexes are frequently elevated in end-stage renal failure (ESRF) patients. It seems that the pattern of inflammation is particular in this population. In the presence of a higher than normal microinflammatory background (CRP, C-reactive protein, values between 0.1 and 10–15 mg/l) that varies with time, waves of ‘true’ inflammation (CRP > 10–15 mg/l), mainly due to infections, are added periodically. To accurately assess the average microinflammation in these patients, multiple CRP measurements are required. As recent experimental studies showed that inflammation and particularly elevated CRP levels may be risk factors and not just a risk index for atherosclerosis, in this case, the characteristic inflammation pattern might be of importance in the evolution of this disease in ESRF patients. The causes of the inflammatory state in ESRF patients are multiple: renal insufficiency per se and its complications, coexisting diseases, established atherosclerosis, the consequences of renal replacement treatment, and frequent infections are potentially the main ones. The fluctuating inflammatory pattern is probably due to destabilization or changes in time of the above-mentioned parameters. Thus, the clinical meaning of the average microinflammation in these patients, as assessed by CRP measurements, seems to be that of an index indicative of the grade of their health aggravation by the multiple factors implicated in the inflammation formation. CRP is a sensitive, but not specific, risk index of the overall morbidity and mortality in these patients. The manipulation of the inflammation in ESRF patients should include follow-up and treatment of all the factors that contribute to this state and probably medications such as the statins. If inflammation and CRP in particular definitely prove to be risk factors for atherosclerosis, intensification of this treatment will be necessary.