How are sampling errors identified in suspected hypokalemia (low potassium level)?

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

Pseudohypokalemia may be seen with sampling errors, particularly if a blood sample is taken upstream of an infusion of saline, dextrose, or other fluids that contain little or no potassium. Clues to sampling errors include other serum-level abnormalities that reflect sampling of a mixture of blood and the fluid that is being infused.

Measurement of urine potassium is essential to establishment of the pathophysiologic mechanism of hypokalemia and, thus, to determination of the differential diagnosis.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!