Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Hyperkalemia

Synonym(s): High potassium

Contributor(s): Lesa Thompson, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Cause: increased potassium intake, redistribution across cellular membranes (between ICF and ECF), or decreased urinary excretion.
  • Signs: vague, lethargy and muscle weakness.
  • Diagosis: blood analysis.
  • Treatment: avoid stressing patient; administer medications to reduce potassium in ECF or to eliminate it from the body.
  • Prognosis: dependent on underlying disease.

Presenting signs

  • Vague.
  • General lethargy and muscle weakness.
  • Signs of associated disease, eg renal pathology, acidosis.

Acute presentation

  • Non-specific signs:
    • Lethargy.
    • Weakness.
    • Inactivity.
    • Reduced appetite.
    • Restlessness.
    • Tachypnea.
    • Skin.
    • Discoloration.
    • Palpable cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Hyperventilation if metabolic acidosis present.
  • Progressive neurological signs:
    • Lethargy.
    • Coma.
    • Seizures, with severe acidosis.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia or sudden death due to cardiac arrest.

Cost considerations

  • Repeated blood sampling may be required to monitor progression.

Special risks, eg anesthetic

  • Avoid stressing rabbits with known or suspected hyperkalemia, as catecholamine release will further sensitize the heart to the effects of potassium.
  • Avoid anesthesia due to increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

Pathogenesis

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Sequelae

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Liu H, Feng Q, Zhang W et al (2013) The diagnosis of hyperkalemia induced by potassium chloride in experimental rabbits. J Med Colleges of PLA 28 (2), 92-99 ScienceDirect.
  • Chen Y, Xue X, Wang L et al (2012) Effects of somatostatin in a rabbit model of abdominal compartment syndrome induced by prolonged intra-abdominal hypertension. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 32 (3), 387-390 PubMed.
  • Kumar N, Sood S, Singh M et al (2010) Effects of sodium fluoride on the electrocardiogram of male rabbits. Fluoride 43 (2), 124-127 VetMedResource.
  • Gennari F J & Segal A S (2002) Hyperkalemia: An adaptive response in chronic renal insufficiency. Kidney International 62 (1), 1-9 PubMed.
  • Antognini J F & Mark K (1995) Hyperkalemia associated with hemorrhagic shock in rabbits: modification by succinylcholine, vecuronium and blood transfusion. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 39 (8), 1125-7 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Özkan C, Kaya A & Akgül Y (2012) Normal values of haematological and some biochemical parameters in serum and urine of New Zealand White rabbits. World Rabbit Sci 20 (4), DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/wrs.2012.1229.
  • Yuan Y, Xiumei Z & Chunling F (2012) Establishment of Hyperkalemia and Analysis on the First-aid Measures. J Heilongjiang Bayi Ag Uni 2012-01.


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