What is the role of ECG in 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

ECG

  • Vital for assessing the physiologic significance of the hyperkalemia

  • ECG findings generally correlate with the potassium level, but potentially life-threatening arrhythmias can occur without warning at almost any level of hyperkalemia

  • In patients with organic heart disease and an abnormal baseline ECG, bradycardia may be the only new ECG abnormality

  • ECG changes have a sequential progression, which roughly correlate with the potassium level, but with the caveats mentioned above [2]


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