Elevated Serum or Plasma Potassium
An artifactually high value can occur with hemolysis of red blood cells (RBCs) during venipuncture, especially if there is prolonged tourniquet use and fist clenching during the drawing of the blood or at any time prior to potassium measurement.
An artifactually high potassium value can also occur when there are greater than 1,000,000 /µL platelets or greater than 100,000/µL white blood cells (WBCs).
Renal failure from any cause, with oliguria, or as chronic nonoliguric renal failure.
Excess potassium supplements, potassium-rich foods, salt substitutes, intravenous (IV) potassium, or infusion of potassium-containing drugs, such as potassium penicillin.
Hypoaldosteronism from Addison's disease or hypofunction of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
Acute acidosis from diabetic ketoacidosis or from lactic acidosis as found with extensive crush injury, burns, or tissue necrosis.
Ingestion of drugs that inhibit potassium secretion by the kidney.
All of these situations are especially dangerous if the potassium becomes extremely elevated.
Values greater than 7.5 mEq/L are associated with serious cardiac conduction abnormalities.
Commonly Encountered Situations
Hyperkalemia is found frequently in renal failure.
The most common cause of an artifactually elevated potassium is hemolysis of RBCs.
Suggested Additional Lab Testing
Determine whether the serum or plasma showed evidence of hemolysis by a change in color from yellow to pink or red.
Complete blood count (CBC) to assess platelet count and WBC count.
Evidence of renal disease from an elevated creatinine or blood urea nitrogen (BUN), or decreased urine output.
Serum aldosterone to assess for hypoaldosteronism.
Blood gases to evaluate possible acidosis.
Copyright © 2017, 2013 Decision Support in Medicine, LLC. All rights reserved.
No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. The Licensed Content is the property of and copyrighted by DSM.
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Regimen and Drug Listings
GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION
|Head and Neck Cancer||Regimens||Drugs|
|Renal Cell Carcinoma||Regimens||Drugs|
Cancer Therapy Advisor Articles
- A Vegan Diet and Cancer
- As HPV-Related Cancer Rates Climb, Experts Scrutinize Barriers to HPV Vaccination
- Bowel Preparation for Colorectal Cancer Screening: Improving Outcomes
- Tool for Assessing Frailty Predicts Survival in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma
- Analysis Supports Flat Dose of Nivolumab 480 mg Every 4 Weeks
- FDA-Approved Breast Cancer Drug Treatments
- A Trained Dog Smells Early-Stage Lung Cancer With a High Degree of Accuracy
- FDA-Approved Prostate Cancer Drug Treatments
- FDA-Approved Colorectal Cancer Drug Treatments
- Synthetic or Plant-Based Cannabis for Symptom Relief in Patients With Cancer: Do We Have Any Evidence?
- Role of miR-125a-5p Clarified in Bladder Cancer
- Bladder Cancer Clinical Features Linked to EGFR and HER-2 Expression
- Ponatinib Tops Bosutinib for Third-Line Treatment of CML in a Comparative Analysis
- A Vegan Diet and Cancer
- The Optimal Neoadjuvant Regimen of Checkpoint Inhibitors in High-Risk Melanoma Is Unclear