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electrolytes

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

A recent renal consult I encountered was a Cantonese gentleman with a classical symptomatic history for Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis (HPP). He presented with a serum K of 1.4 mmol/l and profound weakness. Initially beginning in his teenage years,…

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Could this be Refeeding Syndrome?

A young patient who was engaging in heavy weightlifting presented to the ED with proximal muscle weakness. The night before he had one hour of acute onset bilateral leg and hip flexor cramps with stiffness and “hardened” muscles…

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Chloride: Queen of the Electrolytes

In June’s edition of JASN Jacques et al. highlighted the emerging importance of the role of chloride in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Their group developed a mouse model that over expressed the protein pendrin in the aldosterone-sensitive region…

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Electrolyte Disorders involving Tubular Channels

Though adult nephrologists infrequently encounter these disorders in clinic, the Board Exam loves them. Below a short table describing some of these gain- and loss-of-function channel disorders that are worth remembering. The diuretic-targeted channels are shown under parenthesis…

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Spare the Chloride

Fluid therapy is essential in ICUs and not surprisingly there is still much controversy about which fluid to use, how much and when. Nephrologists often roll their eyes at other subspecialty’s preferences, e.g. surgeon’s preferences for Ringers, citing…

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There’s no such thing as a contraction alkalosis

We recently discussed an excellent paper on the classification of metabolic alkalosis. The three suggested subtypes were primary and secondary stimulation of collecting duct ion transport and exogenous alkali administration. Another interesting editorial was just published in JASN…

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Sodium and seizures?

The development of acute hyponatraemia can have profound neurological consequences. After creation of an osmotic gradient between the intravascular compartment and the intracellular compartment, water must somehow gain access to the brain tissue. This appears to be mediated,…

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Fractional Excretion

The fractional excretion of sodium (FeNa) is a test that is often used in the setting of acute renal failure to help distinguish between pre-renal and intra-renal causes that has been mentioned in previous blog posts. In general,…

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