When is hemodialysis indicated in the treatment of 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

Definitive therapy is hemodialysis in patients with renal failure or when pharmacologic therapy is not sufficient. Any patient with significantly elevated potassium levels should undergo dialysis; pharmacologic therapy alone is not likely to bring about adequate reduction of potassium levels in a timely fashion.

After emergency management and stabilization of hyperkalemia, the patient should be hospitalized. Once the potassium level is restored to normal, the potassium-lowering therapies can be discontinued, and the serum potassium level can be monitored. Continuous cardiac monitoring should be maintained.


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