Background. Citrate has anticoagulative properties and favorable effects on inflammation, but it has the potential hazards of inducing hypocalcemia. Bicarbonate dialysate (BHD) replacing citrate for acetate is now used in chronic haemodialysis but has never been tested in postdilution online haemodiafiltration (OL-HDF). Methods. Thirteen chronic stable dialysis patients were enrolled in a pilot, short-term study. Patients underwent one week (3 dialysis sessions) of BHD with 0.8 mmol/L citrate dialysate, followed by one week of postdilution high volume OL-HDF with standard bicarbonate dialysate, and one week of high volume OL-HDF with 0.8 mmol/L citrate dialysate. Results. In citrate OL-HDF pretreatment plasma levels of C-reactive protein and β2-microglobulin were significantly reduced; intra-treatment plasma acetate levels increased in the former technique and decreased in the latter. During both citrate techniques (OL-HDF and HD) ionized calcium levels remained stable within the normal range. Conclusions. Should our promising results be confirmed in a long-term study on a wider population, then OL-HDF with citrate dialysate may represent a further step in improving dialysis biocompatibility.