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Electrocardiographic Changes and Plasma Potassium Levels in Patients on Regular Haemodialysis

Br Med J 1970; 2 doi: (Published 02 May 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;2:268
  1. M. Papadimitriou,
  2. R. R. Roy,
  3. M. Varkarakis


    Two out of four patients who had severe ischaemic E.C.G. changes when first accepted on to the dialysis programme showed much improvement after six months. From an analysis of 40 electrocardiograms (20 before and 20 after dialysis) of a further 17 patients it was found that the height of the T wave is a good index of the plasma potassium level. The tolerance of higher plasma potassium levels by these patients compared with patients with acute renal failure may be explained by the fact that the former do not have a hypercatabolic process and have a lesser degree of acidosis.