Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 5, May 2009

Persistent hyperkalaemia

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