Clinical factors affecting serum potassium concentration in cardio-renal decompensation syndrome

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1 Honjo, Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan.
International journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 4.04). 09/2008; 138(2):174-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2008.08.011
Source: PubMed


Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors are currently indispensable for the treatment of heart failure. It is well known that hyperkalemia is likely to occur in renal failure; however, it has not yet been clarified how the serum potassium concentration changes as heart failure progresses. Currently, the cardio-renal decompensation syndrome holds that the serum potassium concentration is altered similarly by both heart failure and renal failure; however, there are no definitive reports on this. In order to use RAAS inhibitors more safely and effectively in heart failure, it is necessary to understand the factors affecting serum potassium concentration in the clinical setting.
We examined the clinical factors affecting serum potassium concentration in 1035 consecutive patients with cardiovascular disease who were hospitalized in our institution. Multiple regression analysis showed that the independent factors associated with an elevated serum potassium concentration were renal insufficiency evaluated by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (P<0.0001), diabetes mellitus evaluated by HbA(1c) (P=0.0005) and the use of RAAS inhibitors (P=0.0010). The independent factors associated with a decreased serum potassium concentration were mean blood pressure (P<0.0001), heart failure evaluated by log BNP (P=0.0164) and the use of diuretics (P=0.0232).
The serum potassium concentration decreases with the severity of heart failure if renal function is preserved. From the perspective of potassium homeostasis, we could use the RAAS inhibitors more aggressively in patients with heart failure who do not have renal failure.

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    • "Although a couple of potential mechanisms for this K decrease have been proposed [1-4,14], the precise mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Meanwhile, we have previously reported that K level decreases with the severity of heart failure if renal function is preserved [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although a decrease in serum potassium level has been suggested to be a fairly common observation in acute coronary syndrome (ACS), there have so far been no definitive reports directly demonstrating the transient potassium decrease (the potassium dip) during ischemic attack of ACS compared to stable phase in individual patients. To understand the pathophysiological significance of the potassium dip, we examined the changes in serum potassium level throughout ischemic attack and evaluated the clinical factors affecting it. Methods The degree of the potassium dip during ischemic attack (as indicated by ΔK, ΔK = K at discharge − K on admission) was examined in 311 consecutive patients with ACS who required urgent hospitalization in our institution. Results Serum potassium level during ischemic attack was significantly decreased compared to that during stable phase (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that plasma glucose level during attack was the sole factor which was positively correlated with ΔK (P < 0.01), while HbA1c level was negatively correlated (P < 0.05). The medication profiles and renal function had no impact on ΔK. A longer hospitalization period, higher incidence of myocardial infarction and higher peak creatine kinase level were observed in patients with a larger ΔK. Conclusions We have clearly demonstrated that there is a transient decrease in serum potassium level during ischemic attack of ACS compared to stable phase. The degree of the potassium dip was tightly correlated with glucose level, which overwhelmed the diabetic condition, and it also indicates the disease severity. The present study therefore promotes awareness of the significance of monitoring potassium level in parallel with glucose level in patients with ACS.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Cardiovascular Diabetology
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    • "Hyperkalemia poses a therapeutic dilemma for the treatment with aldosterone antagonists, especially in diabetic patients. However in the recent years several randomized-well controlled trials showed that in case of monotherapy the incidence of significant hyperkalemia is relatively low [21], [22]. Although we neither found elevated potassium levels in the aldosterone-antagonists treated group, according to the literature special precaution is needed in combination therapy of aldosterone antagonist with other RAAS blockers, especially in diabetic patients since diabetes is an independent risk factor for hyperkalemia [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) are the standard clinical therapy of diabetic nephropathy (DN), while aldosterone antagonists are only used as adjuncts. Previously in experimental DN we showed that Na/K ATPase (NKA) is mislocated and angiotensin II leads to superimposed renal progression. Here we investigated the monotherapeutic effect of aldosterone blockers on the progression of DN and renal NKA alteration in comparison to ACEi and ARBs. Streptozotocin-diabetic rats developing DN were treated with aldosterone antagonists; ACEi and ARB. Renal function, morphology, protein level and tubular localization of NKA were analyzed. To evaluate the effect of high glucose per se; HK-2 proximal tubular cells were cultured in normal or high concentration of glucose and treated with the same agents. Aldosterone antagonists were the most effective in ameliorating functional and structural kidney damage and they normalized diabetes induced bradycardia and weight loss. Aldosterone blockers also prevented hyperglycemia and diabetes induced increase in NKA protein level and enzyme mislocation. A monotherapy with aldosterone antagonists might be as, or more effective than ACEi or ARBs in the prevention of STZ-induced DN. Furthermore the alteration of the NKA could represent a novel pathophysiological feature of DN and might serve as an additional target of aldosterone blockers.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular ion milieu determines the exocytosis mechanism that is coupled to spontaneous electrical activity. The K(+) ion plays crucial role in this mechanism: as the potassium current is associated with membrane hyperpolarization and hormone release through protein cascade activation. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the response mechanisms of normal adenohypophysis and adenohypophyseal prolactinoma cell populations at different extracellular K(+) levels with an otherwise isoionic milieu of all other essential ions. We focused on prolactin (PRL) and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) release.In our experimental study, female Wistar rats (n=20) were treated with estrone-acetate (150 μg/kg b.w./week) for 6 months to induce prolactinomas in the adenohypophysis. Primary, monolayer cell cultures were prepared by enzymatic and mechanical digestion. PRL and ACTH hormone presence was measured by radioimmunoassay or immuno-chemiluminescence assay. Immunocytochemistry was used to assess the apoptotic cells.Differences between the effects of hypokalaemia on normal adenohypophysis cultures and prolactinoma cell populations were investigated. Significant alteration (p<0.001, n=10) in hormone exocytosis was detected in K(+) treated adenohypophyseal and prolactinoma cell cultures compared to untreated groups. Immunocyto-chemistry showed that Bcl-2 expression was reduced under hypokalaemic conditions.The decrease in hormone exocytosis was tightly correlated to the extracellular K(+) in both cell types, leading to the conclusion that external K(+) may be the major factor for the inhibition of hormone release. The significant increase in hormone content in supernatant media suggests that hypokalaemia may play important role in apoptosis.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes
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