Author(s): Cronin RE, Thompson JR
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Abstract Potassium depletion can potentiate several experimental models of acute renal failure. It causes renal vasoconstriction, probably under the influence of vasoconstrictor prostaglandins and angiotensin II, and causes a reduction in vasodilatory prostaglandins. Aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity in experimental animals and in man causes a reduction in serum potassium and in animals it enhances the functional and histological damage produced by aminoglycosides. Chronic potassium loading protects against mercuric chloride, uranyl nitrate, and gentamicin models of acute renal failure. In the gentamicin model, protection is associated with a stimulation of renal cortical Na-K-ATPase activity and a reduction in the level of gentamicin accumulated in cortical tissue. In the clinical setting, potassium deficiency should be avoided in patients at risk for acute renal failure. However, potassium loading should also be avoided, since a falling glomerular filtration rate in the presence of a potassium load could result in potentially serious hyperkalemia.
This article was published in Miner Electrolyte Metab
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics