The ability of erythrocytes to undergo deformation may be of importance to erythrocyte survival and to blood flow resistance. In a previous study a decreased deformability was demonstrated in the erythrocytes of uraemic patients treated with recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO). Erythrocyte deformability is, at least partly, determined by the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions. Six patients with renal anaemia (initial haemoglobin 95 ± 11 g/l) were treated with rhEPO. They were examined with regard to certain erythrocyte characteristics before treatment and after reaching a haemoglobin concentration exceeding 120 g/l. A decrease was noted upon treatment in erythrocyte deformability and uptake of <sup>45</sup>Ca in vitro. The blood pressure tended to increase. The individual values of the decrease in <sup>45</sup>Ca uptake and the increase in systolic blood pressure were positively correlated to each other (r=0.87; p < 0.05). No correlation was found between changes in erythrocyte deformability and <sup>45</sup>Ca uptake. The decrease in <sup>45</sup>Ca uptake may be interpreted in two different ways. It could reflect a reduced membrane permeability to calcium ions, or, which is more probable, it could be the end result of an increase in the intracellular metabolic pool of free calcium ions caused by the rhEPO treatment. We, therefore, conclude that rhEPO treatment has certain effects on calcium homeostasis in erythrocytes which may be related to blood pressure regulation.