KEITH A. ALDINGER, M.D.; NAGUIB A. SAMAAN, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., F.R.C.P.
Hypokalemia is a potentially life-threatening biochemical abnormality in patients with hypercalcemia. We studied a large group of patients with hypercalcemia to determine the prevalence of hypokalemia. One hundred three patients with normal renal function and no history of taking potassium-depleting drugs comprise the substance of this study. Thirty three of 103 patients (32%) were hypokalemic. A higher prevalence (52.3%) was found in patients with hypercalcemia associated with malignant disease than in those with primary hyperparathyroidism (16.9%). In addition, the degree and frequency of hypokalemia were greatest at the higher serum calcium levels. The presence of hypokalemia must be considered when treating severe hypercalcemia; otherwise, vigorous use of diuretics may result in profound hypokalemia and tachyrhythmias.
ALDINGER KA, SAMAAN NA. Hypokalemia with Hypercalcemia: Prevalence and Significance in Treatment. Ann Intern Med. ;87:571–573. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-87-5-571
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(5):571-573.
Endocrine and Metabolism, Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders, Nephrology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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