• The total amount of body potassium can change tremendously without disturbing potassium metabolism. Potassium depletion, a decrease in content in relation to capacity, usually results from gastrointestinal and renal loss with inadequate intake. Potassium excess, usually a decrease in capacity rather than an increase in total body potassium, occurs in the presence of renal failure. Changes in the serum potassium concentration reflect changes in body need.
Burnell JM, Scribner BH. SERUM POTASSIUM CONCENTRATION AS A GUIDE TO POTASSIUM NEED. JAMA. 1957;164(9):959–962. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980090013004
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