Document Detail

Importance of potassium in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6942645     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The records of 151 patients entering a coronary care unit and subsequently diagnosed as having an acute myocardial infarction were reviewed. The prevalence of hypokalemia, its relationship to diuretic treatment and the development of either ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation were studied. At admission, 14% of patients were hypokalemic. The presence of hypokalemia was related to previous diuretic therapy. Twenty-three percent of patients receiving diuretics as compared to 7% of patients not taking diuretics had a serum potassium of 3.5 mEq/L or less. Thirty-seven patients experienced either ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. The presence of hypokalemia was associated with an increased frequency of both of these arrhythmias. Sixty-seven percent of patients with a serum potassium of less than 3.1 mEq/L had these serious ventricular arrhythmias compared to 40% of patients with a serum potassium between 3.1 and 3.5 mEq/L and 20% of normokalemic patients. The prevalence of premature ventricular beats was not correlated with the presence of hypokalemia. We conclude that hypokalemia is not only a common problem in patients with acute myocardial infarction but a clinically significant factor in the development of life threatening arrhythmias. Primary prevention of hypokalemia and its prompt treatment are indicated in these patients.
R J Solomon; A G Cole
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta medica Scandinavica. Supplementum     Volume:  647     ISSN:  0365-463X     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Med. Scand. Suppl.     Publication Date:  1981  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1981-09-15     Completed Date:  1981-09-15     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370331     Medline TA:  Acta Med Scand Suppl     Country:  SWEDEN    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  87-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology*
Diuretics / adverse effects
Heart Ventricles
Hypokalemia / complications*
Middle Aged
Myocardial Infarction / complications*
Retrospective Studies
Tachycardia / etiology
Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology
Reg. No./Substance:

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