What are the possible causes of a shift of potassium to the intracellular space?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

A shift of potassium to the intracellular space may result from any of the following:

  • Alkalosis (metabolic or respiratory)

  • Insulin administration or glucose administration (the latter stimulates insulin release)

  • Intensive beta-adrenergic stimulation

  • Hypokalemic periodic paralysis

  • Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis

  • Refeeding: This is observed in prolonged starvation, eating disorders, and alcoholism

  • Hypothermia


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