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Kobe J Med Sci. 2005;51(1-2):1-6.

Life-threatening hyperkalemia during a combined therapy with the angiotensin receptor blocker candesartan and spironolactone.

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Division of Hypertension and Nephrology, National Cardiovascular Center, Suita, Osaka, Japan.


We describe a hypertensive nephrosclerosis patient presenting with severe hyperkalemia due to a combination therapy of the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) candesartan and spironolactone despite mildly decreased renal function. Recently, ARBs are replacing the ACE inhibitors. The combined therapy with ARB and spironolactone will eventually become the standard regimen. The strict attention and close monitoring of serum potassium should be mandatory in combination therapy to prevent hyperkalemia. Assessment of trans-tubular potassium gradient (TTKG) and fractional excretion of potassium (FEK) before starting the therapy would help in identifying the patients at higher risk of developing hyperkalemia. Co-administration of thiazide or loop diuretics is recommended to reduce the risk of hyperkalemia.

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