How is hypokalemia (low potassium level) diagnosed?

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

In most cases, the cause of hypokalemia is apparent from the history and physical examination. However, measurement of urine potassium is of vital importance because it establishes the pathophysiologic mechanism behind hypokalemia and, thus, aids in formulating the differential diagnosis. A serum magnesium assay is also important in the differential diagnosis, as well as in therapy, and is therefore performed as a first-line test


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