May 1981

Hypokalemia in Nonblastic Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Clinical Science Center, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(6):786-787. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340060094021

• Hypokalemia has been noted as a frequent complication of acute leukemia. To our knowledge, an association of this electrolyte disturbance with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), not in blast crisis, has never been reported. We report a unique case of hypokalemia that complicated the clinical course of a patient with nonblastic CML. The pathogenesis of the hypokalemia was shown to be inappropriate hyperkaluresis, which appeared to be related to lysozymuria and a large tumor burden. We discuss the pathogenesis of hypokalemia in leukemia. We think that the unusual features associated with CML in this case make a large tumor burden their most likely underlying cause. This may help explain the still confusing and unresolved relationship between lysozymuria and potassium wasting in leukemia.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:786-787)