Hypokalemia Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Mar 13, 2023
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Pseudohypokalemia may be seen with sampling errors, particularly if a blood sample is taken upstream of an infusion of saline, dextrose, or other fluids that contain little or no potassium. Clues to sampling errors include other serum-level abnormalities that reflect sampling of a mixture of blood and the fluid that is being infused.

Measurement of urine potassium is essential to establishment of the pathophysiologic mechanism of hypokalemia and, thus, to determination of the differential diagnosis.

Differential Diagnoses