Hyperkalemia-induced ECG abnormalities in patients with reduced renal function

Clin Nephrol. 2004 Dec;62(6):465-8. doi: 10.5414/cnp62465.


Hyperkalemia is a potentially lethal condition to be aware of in the presence of ECG abnormalities especially in patients with reduced renal function. However, ECG abnormalities are not always dependent on the degree ofhyperkalemia but may be aggravated by the rapidity of the development of hyperkalemia and by associated electrolyte disorders. We describe 3 patients with renal failure and different ECG changes induced by hyperkalemia. More severe changes were observed when hyperkalemia developed rapidly, but not in presence of electrolyte disorders. Even minor ECG abnormalities must alarm physicians in patients with renal failure since severe hyperkalemia is not always associated with critical ECG changes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / complications