Hypokalaemia

Last updated: Tuesday, 14, December, 2010
CausesAppropriate Tests

Review clinical features; electrolytes.

Creatinine, urea.

Urine - sodium, potassium, chloride, pH may be indicated to differentiate gastrointestinal from renal potassium loss.

Inappropriate fluid and electrolyte replacement

Potassium-poor IV fluids

Gastrointestinal fluid loss

Vomiting

Diarrhoea

Laxative abuse

Measurement of specific drugs if surreptitious ingestion suspected - consult pathologist.

Fistulae

Renal potassium loss

Metabolic alkalosis

See under Alkalosis.

Potassium losing diuretics, especially

  • Frusemide
  • Thiazides
Measurement of specific drugs if surreptitious ingestion suspected - consult pathologist.

Osmotic diuresis, especially

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

 

See under Diabetes mellitus

Mineralocorticoid excess, including

Renal tubular disorders

Magnesium depletion

Magnesium; urine - magnesium.

See under Hypomagnesaemia

Bartter's syndrome

Intracellular shift

Alkalosis

Hypokalaemic periodic paralysis

Drugs, especially

  • Beta agonists
  • Theophylline
  • Amphoterecin B
  • Ticarcillin/Clavulanate