What is the prognosis of hypokalemia (low potassium level)?

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

The prognosis for patients with hypokalemia depends entirely on the condition’s underlying cause. For example, a patient with an acute episode of hypokalemia resulting from diarrhea has an excellent prognosis. Hypokalemia due to a congenital disorder such as Bartter syndrome has a poor to nonexistent potential for resolution.

Hypokalemia is prevalent in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, with reported rates as high as 55%. [9] A retrospective study of 306 inpatients with COVID-19 pneumonia reported that 30.7% (94 patients) had hypokalemia. The researchers found that hypokalemia was associated with mechanical ventilation and longer ICU stays, but was not associated with higher mortality. [10]


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