Pathogenesis and therapy of non-oliguric hyperkalaemia of the premature infant
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Mildenberger, E. & Versmold, H.T. Eur J Pediatr (2002) 161: 415. doi:10.1007/s00431-002-0986-9
- 260 Downloads
Non-oliguric hyperkalaemia is a common and serious complication of extreme prematurity, resulting from a potassium loss from the intra- into the extracellular space during a specific post-natal period. Treatment of this disorder has been adapted from the treatment of hyperkalaemia in renal failure, an entity of completely different pathophysiology. A few years ago, the administration of salbutamol, which induces cellular potassium uptake, was proposed as a new therapeutic option. In this review article we discuss the pathogenesis and current therapy of non-oliguric hyperkalaemia of the premature infant, with special emphasis on the presently available knowledge and concerns with regard to the use of salbutamol. Being aware of the paucity of studies on non-oliguric hyperkalaemia, we propose treatment recommendations which are based on best available evidence. These comprise the administration of calcium, infusion of insulin plus glucose, correction of acidosis, and exchange transfusion or peritoneal dialysis as a last resort therapy. Before controlled trials on efficacy of salbutamol treatment of non-oliguric hyperkalaemia of the premature infant can be initiated, more data on safety are needed.