Urine potassium measurement is used to investigate the causes of hyper- and hypokalaemia.
Potassium (K) is the major intracellular cation. The body absorbs potassium through the diet and the kidneys either maintain it in the body or excrete it, depending on cellular needs. Potassium is responsible for regulating cellular water balance, electrical conductivity in muscle cells, and acid-base balance. Determination of urine potassium levels is useful for the evaluation of endocrine disorders and renal tubular function.
Urine potassium levels fluctuate daily, with higher levels at night.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Alkalosis, Cushing's disease, dehydration, diabetic ketoacidosis, diet (excessive potassium intake), fever, head trauma, hyperaldosteronism, hypokalaemia, renal tubular acidosis, chronic renal failure, salicylate poisoning, starvation. Medications: Acetazolamide, ammonium chloride, amphotericin B, fosinopril, glucocorticoids, loop diuretics, mercury diuretics, penicillin, potassium, thiazide diuretics.
- Decrease: Addison's disease, diarrhea, hyperkalemia, hypomagnesemia, malabsorption syndrome, nephrotic syndrome, potassium deficiency, acute renal failure, σyndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Medications: Laxatives, epinephrine, general anesthesia agents.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.