Blunted kaliuresis after an acute potassium load in patients with chronic renal failure

Kidney Int. 1983 Nov;24(5):656-62. doi: 10.1038/ki.1983.208.


We evaluated renal handling and plasma potassium (K) and aldosterone (PA) responses to acute oral K loading in 11 patients with tubulointerstitial renal disease (creatinine clearance 32 +/- 5 ml/min [SE] ) and 13 control subjects (creatinine clearance 123 +/- 5). After 4 days of a 10 mEq Na, 50 mEq K diet, the subjects received 0.5 mEq KCl/kg body weight. Prior to KCl there were no differences between the groups in plasma K or urinary K excretion (UKV). In the 4 hr following KCl, less of the load (13 +/- 4%) was excreted by patients than control subjects (54 +/- 5%; P less than 0.001). Plasma K at 3 hr post KCl, and the amount of retained potassium translocated into the intracellular compartment (patients 14 +/- 3; control subjects 7 +/- 2 mEq; P less than 0.05) were significantly higher in the patients than in control subjects. After KCl, PA levels increased in both groups, and the increments in the patients tended to exceed those of controls; patients with hypoaldosteronism, however, transferred less K into cells and had an even greater impairment of renal K excretion than those with normal baseline PA. The results indicate that the impaired response to an acute oral potassium load in chronic renal failure is related primarily to defective renal rather than extrarenal mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / urine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Potassium / urine*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects


  • Aldosterone
  • Creatinine
  • Potassium