Fast Five Quiz: Workup for Hyperkalemia

A. Brent Alper, Jr, MD


December 09, 2021

In any patient with suspected hyperkalemia, the first test that should be performed is echocardiography, because cardiac condition abnormalities are dangerous complications that can lead to dysrhythmias and death. In patients with suspected hemolysis, lactate dehydrogenase testing should be ordered. Additional laboratory testing should include serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine to evaluate renal function, as well as urinalysis to screen for renal disease. In patients with renal disease, the serum calcium level should be checked because hypocalcemia may worsen the cardiac effects of hyperkalemia. Urine potassium, sodium, and osmolality can be helpful tests for evaluating the cause of hyperkalemia.

Learn more about the workup for hyperkalemia.


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