Which ECG findings suggest 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

Although ECG changes may be helpful if present, their absence should not be taken as reassurance of normal cardiac conduction. [52] The ECG in hypokalemia may appear normal or may have only subtle findings immediately before clinically significant dysrhythmias. ECG findings may include the following:

  • Ventricular dysrhythmia
  • Prolongation of QT interval [53]
  • ST-segment depression
  • T-wave flattening
  • Appearance of U waves
  • Ventricular arrhythmias (eg, premature ventricular contractions [PVCs], torsade de pointes, ventricular fibrillation) [54]
  • Atrial arrhythmias (eg, premature atrial contractions [PACs], atrial fibrillation)

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