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Am J Med. 2009 Mar;122(3):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.10.028.

The management of hyperkalemia in patients with cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1Division of Hypertension and Clinical Pharmacology, Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030-3940, USA.


The development of hyperkalemia is common in patients with cardiac and kidney disease who are administered drugs that antagonize the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). As the results of large-scale clinical trials in hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and congestive heart failure demonstrate benefits of RAAS blockade alone or, in some cases, in combination therapies, the incidence of hyperkalemia has increased in clinical practice. Although there is potential for adverse events in the presence of hyperkalemia, there also are potential benefits of RAAS blockers that support their use in high-risk patient populations. Management of hyperkalemia may be improved by identifying the levels of potassium that may potentially induce harm and using appropriate strategies to avert the levels that may be dangerous or life threatening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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