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October 1960

Hyperkalemia Associated with the Myeloproliferative Disorder

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Hospital, Philadelphia; Department of Medicine, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and Department of Laboratories, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Southern Division.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(4):479-482. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820040017003

Elevated serum potassium levels unassociated with manifestations of hyperkalemia have been observed in patients with thrombocythemia associated with the myeloproliferative disorder.1-3 Studies indicate that potassium released from platelets during the process of blood coagulation is responsible, since serum prepared from platelet-free plasma has a normal potassium concentration. "Spurious hyperkalemia" has been suggested as a term for this syndrome.3 We wish to reemphasize these findings with additional observations.

Results and Comment  Table 1 lists the clinical and laboratory data in a group of patients with elevations of leukocytes, erythrocytes, and platelets alone or in various combinations. Significant elevations of serum potassium levels above the normal level of 5 mEq. per liter were noted in Patients 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 14. In each of these patients there was a significant elevation of the platelet count. In the absence of thrombocythemia, elevations of the leukocyte or erythrocyte