• Test Code - PL0844
  • Test Name - Potassium
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Test Details & Preparation

  • Potassium testing is frequently ordered, along with other electrolytes, as part of a routine physical. It is used to detect concentrations that are too high (hyperkalemia) or too low (hypokalemia). The most common cause of hyperkalemia is kidney disease, but many drugs can decrease potassium excretion from the body and result in this condition.

  • Doctors may order the potassium test at regular intervals to monitor effects of drugs that can cause the kidneys to lose potassium, particularly diuretics.

  • Potassium testing is ordered when a doctor is diagnosing and evaluating high blood pressure (hypertension) and kidney disease and when monitoring a patient receiving dialysis, diuretic therapy, or intravenous therapy.

  • Potassium testing requires a blood sample taken by needle from a vein in the arm.

  • No preparations required for a potassium test.

  • Increased potassium levels are seen in acute or chronic kidney failure, Addison’s disease, infection, diabetes, dehydration, excessive intravenous potassium intake etc.

  • Decreased levels of potassium may be seen in gastrointestinal disorders, certain drugs such as corticosteroids, as a complication of acetaminophen overdose etc.

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