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August 10, 1946


Author Affiliations

Rochester, N. Y.

From the Department of Medicine of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Medical Clinic of the Strong Memorial and Rochester Municipal Hospitals.

JAMA. 1946;131(15):1186-1189. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870320004002

It is well known that deficiency of serum potassium may result in paralysis of the voluntary muscles. The occurrence of such a state has been described, particularly in familial periodic paralysis, but also in chronic nephritis. The case presented here is thought to be of special interest because of the circumstances under which potassium deficiency occurred and because of the dramatic response to specific treatment.

REPORT OF CASE  J. W., a white girl aged 18, single, admitted to the Strong Memorial hospital on Jan. 24, 1946, had been known to be diabetic for three years, treated with 35 units of protamine zinc insulin a day. During this period her diabetes had been poorly controlled; she consulted her physician irregularly and indulged in dietary indiscretions persistently. For the five days prior to her admission she had taken no insulin. Three days before admission she developed a mild upper respiratory infection characterized

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