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J Hosp Med. 2011 Mar;6(3):136-40. doi: 10.1002/jhm.834.

The use of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in the inpatient management of hyperkalemia.

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Emergency Center, Jesse Brown Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.



Limited data exist on the precise dose of sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SPS) needed for specific potassium concentrations in the management of mild to moderate hyperkalemia in an inpatient hospital setting.


A retrospective cohort study involving a review of electronic medical records of inpatients receiving SPS for the treatment of hyperkalemia was conducted at the Jesse Brown Veteran Affairs Medical Center, between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006. Hyperkalemia was defined as a serum potassium concentration >5.1 mmol/L. The primary endpoint was the mean change in potassium concentration associated with specific SPS dosage administration.


A total of 122 patients were selected for inclusion in the analysis. The mean potassium concentrations before SPS administration were 5.40 ± 0.18 mmol/L, 5.51 ± 0.30, 5.83 ± 0.46, and 5.92 ± 0.30 in the 15, 30, 45, and 60 gm groups, respectively. The mean potassium concentration decreased by 0.82 ± 0.48 mmol/L in the 15 gm group, 0.95 ± 0.47 in the 30 gm group, 1.11 ± 0.58 in the 45 gm group, and 1.40 ± 0.42 in the 60 gm group. After a single dose of SPS, the mean potassium concentration was within normal range in 115 patients (94%).


A possible direct dose response relationship between SPS and the reduction in serum potassium concentration was found and should be evaluated prospectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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