Background: Persistent hyperkalemia (serum potassium (K) ≥5.5 mEq/l) is a common condition in hemodialysis (HD) patients, is associated with increased mortality, and treatment options are limited. The effect of patiromer, a gastrointestinal K binder, on serum K was examined in HD patients.
Methods: Six hyperkalemic HD patients (5 anuric) were admitted to clinical research units for 15 days (1 pretreatment week and 1 patiromer treatment week) and they received a controlled diet with identical meals on corresponding days of pretreatment and treatment weeks. Phosphate (P) binders were discontinued on admission. Patiromer, 12.6 g daily (divided 4.2 g TID with meals), was started on the Monday morning following the last pretreatment week blood sampling. Serum and 24-hour stool samples were collected daily.
Results: Mean ± SE serum K decreased (maximum change per corresponding day, 0.6 ± 0.2 mEq/l, p = 0.009) and fecal K increased 58% on patiromer compared with the pretreatment week. During the pretreatment week, 69.0, 47.6, and 11.9% of patients' serum K values were ≥5.5, ≥6.0, and ≥6.5 mEq/l, respectively. This was reduced to 38.1% (p = 0.009), 11.9% (p < 0.001), and 2.4% (p = 0.2) on patiromer. Following P binder discontinuation, the long interdialytic interval mean ± SE serum P numerically increased from 5.8 ± 0.4 to 7.0 ± 0.5 mg/dl (p = 0.06). On patiromer, P decreased from 7.0 ± 0.5 to 6.2 ± 0.5 mg/dl (p = 0.04). While on patiromer, fecal P numerically increased by 112 ± 72 mg/day (17%; p = 0.1792; range -148 to 344 mg/day). No patient discontinued patiromer because of adverse events (AEs); none had serious AEs.
Conclusions: In 6 hyperkalemic HD patients, patiromer decreased serum K and P levels and increased fecal K.
© 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.