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

Updated: Apr 09, 2020
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
  • Print

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.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!