Which tests should be performed when symptoms suggest hyperkalemia (high serum potassium level)?

Updated: Jun 20, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

In a patient who does not have a predisposition to hyperkalemia, repeat the blood test before taking any actions to bring down the potassium level, unless ECG changes are present. Other tests include the following:

  • ECG

  • Urine potassium, sodium, and osmolality

  • Complete blood count (CBC)

  • Metabolic profile

If the BUN and serum creatinine levels suggest renal insufficiency, using the MDRD or CKD-EPI equation to determine the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is recommended. [1] Chronic kidney disease alone generally will not cause hyperkalemia until the eGFR is less than 20-25 mL/min.


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