Diagnostic Highlights

Test

Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition

Explanation

Serum potassium

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Normal PQRST pattern

Early: Flat or inverted T wave, prominent U wave, ST segment depression, prolonged QU interval

Late: Prolonged PR interval, decreased voltage and widening of QRS interval, increased risk of ventricular dysrhythmias

Potassium deficit is reflected in serum and extracellular fluid compartment

Potassium deficit leads to changes in the generation and conduction of action potential

Other Laboratory Tests: Blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, calcium, glucose, digitalis level (if patient is on digitalis), urinalysis, cortisol, aldosterone level

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