Electrocardiogram manifestations in hyperkalemia


Hyperkalemia is defined as serum potassium level of more than 5 mmol/L. Prompt identification of hyper-kalemia and appropriate management are critical, since severe hyperkalemia can lead to lethal cardiac dysrhythmias. There is a wide range of electrocardiogram (EKG) changes associated with hyperkalemia. The sequence of EKG changes has been previously described with limited information to correlate the level of potassium to a particular change in the EKG. This study aims to describe a correlation between the level of potassium and EKG changes in the presence or absence of certain diagnoses, to determine which EKG finding in the context of level of hyperkalemia, should be considered life-threatening and prompt emergency intervention. If a relationship between serum levels of potassium and EKG changes is significant, clinicians may be able to better monitor and treat hyperkalemic patients. This paper reviews the literature on hyperkalemia, potassium homeostasis and EKG changes attributed to elevated potassium.

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Cohen, R. , Ramos, R. , Garcia, C. , Mehmood, S. , Park, Y. , Divittis, A. and Mirrer, B. (2012) Electrocardiogram manifestations in hyperkalemia. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 2, 57-63. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2012.22010.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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