Clinical Information (ข้อมูลทางคลินิก):
Potassium is the major cation of the intracellular fluid. Disturbance of potassium homeostasis has serious consequences.
Decreases in extracellular potassium are characterized by muscle weakness, irritability, and eventual paralysis. Cardiac effects include tachycardia, other cardiac conduction abnormalities that are apparent by electrocardiographic examination, and eventual cardiac arrest.
Hypokalemia (low potassium) is common in vomiting, diarrhea, alcoholism, and folic acid deficiency. Additionally, >90% of hypertensive patients with aldosteronism have hypokalemia.
Abnormally high extracellular potassium levels produce symptoms of mental confusion; weakness, numbness and tingling of the extremities; weakness of the respiratory muscles; flaccid paralysis of the extremities; slowed heart rate; and eventually peripheral vascular collapse and cardiac arrest. Hyperkalemia may be seen in end-stage renal failure, hemolysis, trauma, Addison's disease, metabolic acidosis, acute starvation, dehydration, and with rapid potassium infusion.
Hypokalemia reflecting true total body deficits of potassium (K+) can be classified into renal and nonrenal losses based on the daily excretion of K+ in the urine.