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Also known as: K
Formal name: Potassium

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used. To access online sources, copy and paste the URL into your browser.

Sources Used in Current Review

Pagana K, Pagana T. Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. 4th edition, Pp 421-424.

MedlinePlus Medical Encylopedia. Potassium test. Available online at Accessed August 2011. 

National Kidney Foundation. Potassium and Your CKD Diet. Available online at through Accessed August 2011. 

Sources Used in Previous Reviews

Hayes, Denise D. When Potassium Takes Dangerous Detours. Nursing 2007 Nov. 56hn1 56hn4.

Bauer, Daniel M.; Ernst, Dennis; Willeford, Susan; Gambino, Raymond. Investigating Elevated Potassium Values. MLO Nov 2006, Pp 24-26.

Clarke, W. and Dufour, D. R., Editors (2006). Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, AACC Press, Washington, DC. Pp 336-337.

American Heart Association. Potassium. Available online through Accessed February 2008.

Pikilidou MI, et al. Blood pressure and serum potassium levels in hypertensive patients receiving or not receiving antihypertensive treatment. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2007 Nov;29(8):563-73. Abstract available online through Accessed February 2008.

Waring WS, Stephen AF, Malkowska AM, Robinson OD. Acute Acetaminophen Overdose Is Associated with Dose-Dependent Hypokalaemia: A Prospective Study of 331 Patients. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2007 Nov 28. Abstract available online through Accessed February 2008.

Pagana K, Pagana T. Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. 3rd Edition, St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier; 2006.

Thomas, Clayton L., Editor (1997). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA [18th Edition].

Pagana, Kathleen D. & Pagana, Timothy J. (2001). Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO.

(1995-2004). Minerals and Electrolytes. The Merck Manual of Medical Information Second Home Edition [On-line information]. Available online through

Ben-Joseph, E., Reviewed (2004 July). Dehydration. Information for Parents [On-line information]. Available online through

A.D.A.M. editorial, Updated (2003 October 15). Electrolytes. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [On-line information]. Available online at