Tailoring treatment of hyperkalemia.Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019; 34(Supplement_3):iii62-iii68ND
Hyperkalemia is a common electrolyte disorder that may be rapidly life-threatening because of its cardiac toxicity. Hyperkalemia risk factors are numerous and often combined in the same patient. Most of the strategies to control serum potassium level in the short term have been used for decades. However, evidence for their efficacy and safety remains low. Treatment of hyperkalemia remains challenging, poorly codified, with a risk of overtreatment, including short-term side effects, and with the priority of avoiding unnecessary hospital stays or chronic medication changes. Recently, new oral treatments have been proposed for non-life-threatening hyperkalemia, with encouraging results. Their role in the therapeutic arsenal remains uncertain. Finally, a growing body of evidence suggests that hyperkalemia might negatively impact outcomes in the long term in patients with chronic heart failure or kidney failure through underdosing or withholding of cardiovascular medication (e.g. renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors). Recognition of efficacy and potential side effects of treatment may help in tailoring treatments to the patient's status and conditions. In this review we discuss how treatment of hyperkalemia could be tailored to the patient's conditions and status, both on the short and mid term.