Saturday, June 17, 2006

EKG changes in Hyperkalemia

Saturday June 17, 2006
4 EKG changes in Hyperkalemia

The first EKG sign of hyperkalemia is peaked T waves and usually appears once K level go around 6 meq/L.

Second sign is prolongation of PR interval which can be seen with K level going around or above 7 meq/L.

Absent P wave with widen QRS complex is the third manifestation and is a very dangerous sign. It means that atrial activity is lost and stage is set for ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation. It is usually seen at level around 8-9 meq/L.

Ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation is the price you pay of ignoring above changes on monitor.

Above are just rough rules of thumb. Read a good review

Recognising signs of danger: ECG changes resulting from an abnormal serum potassium concentration (source: Emerg Med J 2002; 19:74-77)