The management of hyperkalemia in patients with cardiovascular disease

Am J Med. 2009 Mar;122(3):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.10.028.


The development of hyperkalemia is common in patients with cardiac and kidney disease who are administered drugs that antagonize the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). As the results of large-scale clinical trials in hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and congestive heart failure demonstrate benefits of RAAS blockade alone or, in some cases, in combination therapies, the incidence of hyperkalemia has increased in clinical practice. Although there is potential for adverse events in the presence of hyperkalemia, there also are potential benefits of RAAS blockers that support their use in high-risk patient populations. Management of hyperkalemia may be improved by identifying the levels of potassium that may potentially induce harm and using appropriate strategies to avert the levels that may be dangerous or life threatening.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia / chemically induced*
  • Hyperkalemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperkalemia / metabolism
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects


  • Antihypertensive Agents