Sleep

May 2009

Clinical

Persistent hyperkalaemia

Volume 38, No.5, May 2009 Pages 307-309

Bo Xu

Michael Murray

Background

Persistent hyperkalaemia in elderly patients caused by hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism is relatively common and often under recognised in the general practice setting.

Objective/s

This article highlights the importance of suspecting hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism in any elderly patient with persistent hyperkalaemia and provides an outline of investigation and management of the condition.

Discussion

Elderly patients with persistent hyperkalaemia may have hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism. The diagnosis is made by calculating the transtubular potassium concentration gradient, and then measuring the serum aldosterone level. Hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism is managed with a low potassium diet and a low dose loop or thiazide diuretic.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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