Which specialists should be consulted in the management 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

For patients with severe hyperkalemia or renal failure, early consultation with a nephrologist for aid in implementing efficient therapy and plans for dialysis is highly recommended. In addition, these patients should be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).

Consultations with the following specialists may be necessary in cases of hyperkalemia that result from certain conditions or disease states:

  • Pediatric intensivist or neonatologist – For life-threatening hyperkalemia (hyperkalemia with ECG changes) in infants and children

  • Social services specialist – For hyperkalemia developing in children after unintentional ingestions or poisonings

  • Cardiologist - For emergency pacemaker placement in patients with refractory heart block

  • Hematologist/oncologist – For hyperkalemia resulting from tumor lysis syndrome

  • Nutritional support specialist - For hyperkalemia caused by renal failure, which requires close regulation of potassium and sodium intake

  • Endocrinologist – For suspected mineralocorticoid abnormalities (eg, congenital adrenal hyperplasia)


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