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
- Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivorship Marked by Periods of Actionable Distress
- Dose-Escalation Mitigates Risk of Grade 3/4 Adverse Events With Ruxolitinib for Myelofibrosis
- Stem Cell Transplantation Superior to Chemotherapy for Relapsed/Refractory DLBCL, Follicular Lymphoma
- Patients and Caregivers Worry About Cost of Cancer Care
- Integrative Medicine in Childhood Cancer: Practices That Can Help Pediatric Patients
- Navigating Prostate Cancer: A Patient's Experience From Diagnosis to Survivor
- Cell Phones and Cancer Risk (Fact Sheet)
- How Likely Are Oncologists to Refer for Palliative Care? Depends on Their Age
- Chemoimmunotherapy Increases Survival in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
- Seeking an Explanation for the Lack of Research Focused in Pediatric Oncology Therapeutics
- Risk for Colon Cancer, Osteogenic Sarcoma Higher With Presence of Diamond-Blackfan Anemia
- G-CSF Support Increases Overall Survival, But Risk of Secondary Malignancies Also Higher
- Report From Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Identifies Long-Term Risks for VTE
- The Effect of Intravenous Hydration Strategy on Plasma Methotrexate Clearance During Intravenous High-dose Methotrexate Administration in Pediatric Oncology Patients
- Outcomes Worse for Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy vs Open Surgery
Regimen and Drug Listings
GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION
|Head and Neck Cancer||Regimens||Drugs|