Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Hyperkalemia

Hyperkalemia is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

5-Minute Clinical Consult (5MCC) app and website powered by Unbound Medicine helps you diagnose and manage 900+ medical conditions. Exclusive bonus features include Diagnosaurus DDx, 200 pediatrics topics, and medical news feeds. Explore these free sample topics:

5-Minute Clinical Consult

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --

Basics

Description

  • Hyperkalemia is a common electrolyte disorder that may be defined as a plasma potassium (K) concentration >5.5 mEq/L (>5 mmol/L).
  • Hyperkalemia depresses cardiac conduction and can lead to fatal arrhythmias.
  • Normal K regulation
    • Ingested K enters portal circulation; pancreas releases insulin in response. Insulin facilitates K entry into cells.
    • K in renal circulation causes renin release from juxtaglomerular cells, leading to activation of angiotensin I, which is converted to angiotensin II in lungs. Angiotensin II acts in adrenal zona glomerulosa to stimulate aldosterone secretion. Aldosterone, at the renal collecting ducts, causes K to be excreted and sodium to be retained.
  • Four major causes
    • Increased load: either endogenous from tissue release or exogenous from a high intake, usually in association with decreased excretion
    • Decreased excretion: due to decreased glomerular filtration rate or impaired aldosterone secretion
    • Cellular redistribution: shifts from intracellular space (majority of K is intracellular) to extracellular space
    • Pseudohyperkalemia: related to red cell lysis during collection or transport of blood sample, thrombocytosis, or leukocytosis

Geriatric Considerations
Increased risk for hyperkalemia because of decreases in renin and aldosterone as well as comorbid conditions

Epidemiology

Prevalence
  • 1–10% of hospitalized patients
  • 2–3% in general population but as high as 50% in patients with chronic kidney disease (1)
  • Predominant sex: male = female
  • No age-related predilection

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • Pseudohyperkalemia
    • Hemolysis of red cells in phlebotomy tube (spurious result is most common)
    • Thrombolysis
    • Leukocytosis
    • Thrombocytosis
    • Hereditary spherocytosis
    • Infectious mononucleosis
    • Traumatic venipuncture or fist clenching during phlebotomy (spurious result)
    • Familial pseudohyperkalemia
  • Transcellular shift (redistribution)
    • Metabolic acidosis
    • Insulin deficiency
    • Hyperglycemia (diabetic ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state)
    • Tissue damage (rhabdomyolysis, burns, trauma)
    • Tumor lysis syndrome
    • Cocaine abuse
    • Exercise with heavy sweating
    • Mannitol
  • Impaired K excretion
    • Renal insufficiency/failure
    • Addison disease
    • Mineralocorticoid deficiency
    • Primary hyporeninemia, primary hypoaldosteronism
    • Type IV renal tubular acidosis (hyporeninemic hypoaldosteronism)
    • Obstructive uropathy
    • Cirrhosis
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Amyloidosis
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Medication-induced
    • Excess K supplementation
    • Statins
    • ACE inhibitors
    • Angiotensin receptor blockers
    • β-Blockers
    • Cyclosporine
    • Digoxin toxicity
    • Ethinyl estradiol/drospirenone
    • Heparin
    • Lithium
    • NSAIDs
    • Penicillin G potassium
    • Pentamidine
    • Spironolactone
    • Succinylcholine
    • Tacrolimus
    • Trimethoprim, particularly with other medications associated with hyperkalemia (2)

Genetics

Associated with some inherited diseases and conditions

  • Familial hyperkalemic periodic paralysis
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Risk Factors

  • Impaired renal excretion of K
  • Acidemia
  • Massive cell breakdown (rhabdomyolysis, burns, trauma)
  • Use of K-sparing diuretics
  • Excess K supplementation
  • Comorbid conditions: chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, liver disease

General Prevention

Low K diet and oral supplement compliance in those at risk

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --

Citation

Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Hyperkalemia." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. 5minute, www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116295/all/Hyperkalemia.
Hyperkalemia. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116295/all/Hyperkalemia. Accessed May 25, 2019.
Hyperkalemia. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116295/all/Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 May 25]. Available from: https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116295/all/Hyperkalemia.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Hyperkalemia ID - 116295 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/5minute/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/116295/all/Hyperkalemia PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - 5minute DP - Unbound Medicine ER -