Etiology and Treatment of Intraoperative Hyperkalemia During Posterior Spinal Fusion in an Adolescent

Rafael Lemus, Amber Craver, Allan Beebe, Walter Samora, Joseph D. Tobias


Hyperkalemia, defined as a serum or plasma potassium greater than 5.5 mEq/L, while an uncommon occurrence in children, is a serious medical problem that warrants immediate attention as it can result in serious cardiac arrhythmias and death. Although hyperkalemia may occur in the critically ill patient or in the setting of renal failure and insufficiency, there are limited reports of its occurrence during intraoperative care. The authors report a previously healthy, 18-year-old patient, who developed hyperkalemia intraoperatively during posterior spinal fusion to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The potential etiologies of hyperkalemia are reviewed, a differential diagnosis for the possible etiologies presented, and treatment modalities discussed.

J Med Cases. 2020;11(6):152-156


Hyperkalemia; Potassium; Posterior spinal fusion

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