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Tex Heart Inst J. 2006;33(1):40-7.

Hyperkalemia revisited.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis University School of Medicine and St. John's Mercy Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. waparham1@hotmail.com

Abstract

Hyperkalemia is a common clinical condition that can induce deadly cardiac arrhythmias. Electrocardiographic manifestations of hyperkalemia vary from the classic sine-wave rhythm, which occurs in severe hyperkalemia, to nonspecific repolarization abnormalities seen with mild elevations of serum potassium. We present a case of hyperkalemia, initially diagnosed as ventricular tachycardia, to demonstrate how difficult hyperkalemia can be to diagnose. An in-depth review of hyperkalemia is presented, examining the electrophysiologic and electrocardiographic changes that occur as serum potassium levels increase. The treatment for hyperkalemia is then discussed, with an emphasis on the mechanisms by which each intervention lowers serum potassium levels. An extensive literature review has been performed to present a comprehensive review of the causes and treatment of hyperkalemia.

PMID:
16572868
PMCID:
PMC1413606
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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