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Miner Electrolyte Metab. 1991;17(5):297-302.

Effect of hypertonic versus isotonic sodium bicarbonate on plasma potassium concentration in patients with end-stage renal disease.

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Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, Fla.


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potassium-lowering effect of hypertonic versus isotonic sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving chronic maintenance hemodialysis. Immediately prior to dialysis, we infused isotonic (1.4%, 150 mEq/l) NaHCO3 in H2O (1 mEq/kg body weight over 2 h) to 10 patients with ESRD. Blood was drawn in heparinized tubes, without the use of a tourniquet, from the angioaccess for Na, K, pH, PCO2, HCO3, and osmolality at baseline (x 3) and after 10, 20, 40, 60, 90, 120, and 180 min of infusion. All patients were acidotic (HCO3 13-21 mEq/l, pH 7.25-7.38) prior to the study. In these patients, plasma HCO3 increased by an average of 3 mEq/l, and plasma K decreased by 0.35 mEq/l at 180 min. Plasma osmolality did not change. In 8 patients, a bolus of hypertonic (8.4%, 1,000 mEq/l) NaHCO3 (1 mEq/kg body weight over 5 min) tended to cause a transient increase in plasma HCO3, an increase in plasma osmolality, and minor changes in the K levels (an initial small and transient albeit significant decrease, followed by a tendency to increase). Finally, plasma K tended to increase in patients receiving infusions of either isotonic (n = 6) or hypertonic (n = 6) sodium chloride. Our data do not support the efficacy of the common practice of administering NaHCO3 for the emergency treatment of hyperkalemia in patients with ESRD receiving maintenance dialysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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