Hyperkalemia: Clinical (To be retired)

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Hyperkalemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Medical and surgical emergencies

Cardiology, cardiac surgery and vascular surgery

Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS): Clinical (To be retired)

Supraventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review

Ventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review

Heart blocks: Pathology review

Coronary artery disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Heart failure: Clinical (To be retired)

Syncope: Clinical (To be retired)

Pericardial disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Valvular heart disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Chest trauma: Clinical (To be retired)

Shock: Clinical (To be retired)

Peripheral vascular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Leg ulcers: Clinical (To be retired)

Aortic aneurysms and dissections: Clinical (To be retired)

Cholinomimetics: Direct agonists

Cholinomimetics: Indirect agonists (anticholinesterases)

Muscarinic antagonists

Sympathomimetics: Direct agonists

Sympatholytics: Alpha-2 agonists

Adrenergic antagonists: Presynaptic

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Adrenergic antagonists: Beta blockers

ACE inhibitors, ARBs and direct renin inhibitors

Loop diuretics

Thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics

Calcium channel blockers

cGMP mediated smooth muscle vasodilators

Class I antiarrhythmics: Sodium channel blockers

Class II antiarrhythmics: Beta blockers

Class III antiarrhythmics: Potassium channel blockers

Class IV antiarrhythmics: Calcium channel blockers and others

Positive inotropic medications

Antiplatelet medications

Dermatology and plastic surgery

Blistering skin disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Bites and stings: Clinical (To be retired)

Burns: Clinical (To be retired)

Endocrinology and ENT (Otolaryngology)

Diabetes mellitus: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperthyroidism: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypothyroidism and thyroiditis: Clinical (To be retired)

Parathyroid conditions and calcium imbalance: Clinical (To be retired)

Adrenal insufficiency: Clinical (To be retired)

Neck trauma: Clinical (To be retired)

Insulins

Mineralocorticoids and mineralocorticoid antagonists

Glucocorticoids

Gastroenterology and general surgery

Abdominal pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Appendicitis: Clinical (To be retired)

Gastrointestinal bleeding: Clinical (To be retired)

Peptic ulcers and stomach cancer: Clinical (To be retired)

Inflammatory bowel disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Diverticular disease: Clinical (To be retired)

Gallbladder disorders: Clinical (To be retired)

Pancreatitis: Clinical (To be retired)

Cirrhosis: Clinical (To be retired)

Hernias: Clinical (To be retired)

Bowel obstruction: Clinical (To be retired)

Abdominal trauma: Clinical (To be retired)

Laxatives and cathartics

Antidiarrheals

Acid reducing medications

Hematology and oncology

Blood products and transfusion: Clinical (To be retired)

Venous thromboembolism: Clinical (To be retired)

Anticoagulants: Heparin

Anticoagulants: Warfarin

Anticoagulants: Direct factor inhibitors

Antiplatelet medications

Thrombolytics

Infectious diseases

Fever of unknown origin: Clinical (To be retired)

Infective endocarditis: Clinical (To be retired)

Pneumonia: Clinical (To be retired)

Tuberculosis: Pathology review

Diarrhea: Clinical (To be retired)

Urinary tract infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Meningitis, encephalitis and brain abscesses: Clinical (To be retired)

Bites and stings: Clinical (To be retired)

Skin and soft tissue infections: Clinical (To be retired)

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Aminoglycosides

Antimetabolites: Sulfonamides and trimethoprim

Antituberculosis medications

Miscellaneous cell wall synthesis inhibitors

Protein synthesis inhibitors: Tetracyclines

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Penicillins

Miscellaneous protein synthesis inhibitors

Cell wall synthesis inhibitors: Cephalosporins

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Metronidazole

DNA synthesis inhibitors: Fluoroquinolones

Herpesvirus medications

Azoles

Echinocandins

Miscellaneous antifungal medications

Anthelmintic medications

Antimalarials

Anti-mite and louse medications

Nephrology and urology

Hypernatremia: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyponatremia: Clinical (To be retired)

Hyperkalemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Hypokalemia: Clinical (To be retired)

Metabolic and respiratory acidosis: Clinical (To be retired)

Metabolic and respiratory alkalosis: Clinical (To be retired)

Toxidromes: Clinical (To be retired)

Medication overdoses and toxicities: Pathology review

Environmental and chemical toxicities: Pathology review

Acute kidney injury: Clinical (To be retired)

Kidney stones: Clinical (To be retired)

Adrenergic antagonists: Alpha blockers

Neurology and neurosurgery

Stroke: Clinical (To be retired)

Seizures: Clinical (To be retired)

Headaches: Clinical (To be retired)

Traumatic brain injury: Clinical (To be retired)

Neck trauma: Clinical (To be retired)

Lower back pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Spinal cord disorders: Pathology review

Anticonvulsants and anxiolytics: Barbiturates

Anticonvulsants and anxiolytics: Benzodiazepines

Nonbenzodiazepine anticonvulsants

Migraine medications

Osmotic diuretics

Antiplatelet medications

Thrombolytics

Opioid agonists, mixed agonist-antagonists and partial agonists

Opioid antagonists

Pulmonology and thoracic surgery

Asthma: Clinical (To be retired)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Clinical (To be retired)

Venous thromboembolism: Clinical (To be retired)

Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Clinical (To be retired)

Pleural effusion: Clinical (To be retired)

Pneumothorax: Clinical (To be retired)

Chest trauma: Clinical (To be retired)

Bronchodilators: Beta 2-agonists and muscarinic antagonists

Pulmonary corticosteroids and mast cell inhibitors

Rheumatology and orthopedic surgery

Joint pain: Clinical (To be retired)

Anatomy clinical correlates: Clavicle and shoulder

Anatomy clinical correlates: Axilla

Anatomy clinical correlates: Arm, elbow and forearm

Anatomy clinical correlates: Wrist and hand

Anatomy clinical correlates: Median, ulnar and radial nerves

Anatomy clinical correlates: Bones, joints and muscles of the back

Anatomy clinical correlates: Hip, gluteal region and thigh

Anatomy clinical correlates: Knee

Anatomy clinical correlates: Leg and ankle

Anatomy clinical correlates: Foot

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Glucocorticoids

Opioid agonists, mixed agonist-antagonists and partial agonists

Antigout medications

Assessments

Hyperkalemia: Clinical (To be retired)

USMLE® Step 2 questions

0 / 5 complete

Questions

USMLE® Step 2 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 63-year-old man comes to the emergency department because of severe weakness and nausea. His suffered a heart attack a month ago and has recently been placed on aspirin, carvedilol, and atorvastatin. An ECG is obtained and the readout is shown below:

Of the available options, which one is most likely to help this patient's condition?

Transcript

Content Reviewers

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH

Contributors

Anca-Elena Stefan, MD

Evan Debevec-McKenney

With hyperkalemia, there’s too much potassium in the extracellular fluid, generally over 5 mEq/L.

Common causes include metabolic acidosis; a hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state; the use of medication, like potassium sparing diuretics; and tissue breakdown, like with a crush injury.

In addition, individuals with acute or chronic kidney disease, can develop hyperkalemia when there’s a high potassium intake.

Hyperkalemia is often asymptomatic, but it can cause symptoms like palpitations, paresthesias, and muscle weakness.

Ultimately if hyperkalemia is severe enough, it can lead to a flaccid paralysis that starts in the lower extremities and ascends upward.

In addition, severe hyperkalemia can affect renal function - causing a person to become oliguric- meaning their daily urine output can fall below 400 milliliters.

Whenever potassium levels are above 5 mEq/L, the first to do is an EKG.

If the EKG is normal and the individual doesn’t have symptoms of hyperkalemia, and if there’s no apparent cause of hyperkalemia, then it may be due to pseudohyperkalemia. This happens when potassium moves out of the cells during or after a blood draw.

For example, potassium gets released from muscle cells during muscle contraction, so if a person repeatedly clenches their fist during the blood draw, then potassium levels can rise - in fact, they can go up by up to 2 mEq/L in that forearm!

Also during blood drawing, some of the red cells can be harmed and release potassium.

Pseudohyperkalemia can also happen when there’s thrombocytosis or leukocytosis.

For example in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the lymphocytes are frail, so they break easily and release potassium. The key is to simply repeat the serum potassium level and to obtain a CBC.

If pseudohyperkalemia is ruled out, then there’s a true hyperkalemia.

There may be EKG changes, but they don’t always correlate with the severity and progression of hyperkalemia.

Elsevier

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