PMID: 6195908Nov 1, 1983Paper

Diuretic-induced hypokalemia in uncomplicated systemic hypertension: effect of plasma potassium correction on cardiac arrhythmias

The American Journal of Cardiology
V PapademetriouE D Freis

Abstract

Sixteen patients with diuretic-induced hypokalemia underwent 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring during and after correction of hypokalemia. Plasma potassium averaged 2.83 +/- 0.08 mEq/liter before and 3.73 +/- 0.06 mEq/liter after correction with potassium chloride, triamterene or both. Premature atrial contractions decreased in 6 patients, increased in 6 and remained unchanged in 4. There was no improvement in ventricular ectopic activity after plasma potassium correction. Ventricular ectopic activity improved in 5 patients, worsened in 10 and remained unchanged in 1. Ventricular tachycardia was not observed in either phase. Plasma magnesium remained normal throughout. The investigators conclude that in patients with uncomplicated hypertension, correction of diuretic-induced hypokalemia does not significantly reduce the occurrence of spontaneous atrial or ventricular ectopic activity.

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