Disorders of Potassium

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


The high morbidity and mortality due to hypokalaemia are associated with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Severe hypokalaemia causes cardiac arrhythmias, general discomfort, irritability, muscle pain, generalised weakness and paralysis. Treatment begins with determining the cause followed by alleviating the underlying disorder, potassium deficit estimated from the plasma or serum concentration. Hyperkalaemia is a frequent occurrence in hospitalised patients with a reported incidence of 1.1–10 patients per 100 hospitalised. The chapter discusses the mechanisms underlying the disorders of potassium metabolism, their clinical manifestations and management.


Hypokalaemia Hyperkalaemia Cardiac arrhythmias Sudden cardiac death Magnesium deficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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