Electrolytes and Blood Pressure, Vol.11(1) : 9~16, 2013
Potassium is abundant in the ICF compartment in the body and its excretion primarily depends on renal (about 90%), and to a lesser extent (about 10%) on colonic excretion. Total body potassium approximated to 50mmol/kg body weight and 2% of total body potassium is in the ECF compartment and 98% of it in the intracellular compartment.Dyskalemia is a frequent electrolyte imbalance observed among the maintenance hemodialysis patients. In case of hyperkalemia, it is frequently "a silent and a potential life threatening electrolyte imbalance" among patients with ESRD under maintenance hemodialysis. The prevalence of hyperkalemia in maintenance HD patients was reported to be about 8.7-10%. Mortality related to the hyperkalemia has been shown to be about 3.1/1,000 patient-years and about 24% of patients with HD required emergency hemodialysis due to severe hyperkalemia. In contrast to the hyperkalemia, much less attention has been paid to the hypokalemia in hemodialysis patients because of the low prevalence under maintenance hemodialysis patients. Severe hypokalemia in the hemodialysis patients usually was resulted from low potassium intake (malnutrition), chronic diarrhea, mineralocorticoid use, and imprudent use of K-exchange resins. Recently, the numbers of the new patients with advanced chronic kidney disease undergoing maintenance hemodialysis are tremendously increasing worldwide. However, the life expectancy of these patients is still much lower than that of the general population. The causes of excess mortality in these patients seem to various, but dyskalemia is a common cause among the patients with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis.