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Moderate hyperkalemia in hospitalized patients with cirrhotic ascites indicates a poor prognosis
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden .
Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden .
Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Sweden .
Center for Clinical Research, Västerås, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, ISSN 0036-5521, Vol. 48, no 3, 358-365 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. Development of ascites in patients with liver cirrhosis is an ominous sign with a poor outcome. A liver transplantation must be considered, and it then becomes important to know if there are any factors indicating a worsened prognosis. Material and methods. We used official registers for a follow-up study of at least 5 years considering the prognosis of 155 prospectively recruited in-patients with cirrhotic ascites from medical units at nine Swedish university hospitals. All patients had undergone at least one diagnostic ascites tap, and had initially been questioned about background factors and physically examined according to a standardized case record form, followed by sampling of blood, urine, and ascites. Results. Death occurred within 1 year after inclusion in 53% of the cases, and was primarily liver-related in 70%. In a multivariable analysis, the two ordinary variables that showed the strongest correlation with risk of death were serum potassium and abdominal tenderness. All 22 patients with a serum potassium concentration of at least 4.8 mmol/L (maximum 5.8 mmol/L) died within 1 year after inclusion. Potassium concentration was related to renal function and potassium-saving drugs. Conclusion. This follow-up study of a prospectively recruited cohort of in-patients with cirrhotic ascites confirms their poor prognosis. Awareness of an elevated serum potassium value, which would reflect a threatened renal function, seems essential, because it may offer a simple way to identify cases with the worst prognosis. An area for further research should be to explore the significance of including serum potassium in prognostic models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa Healthcare , 2013. Vol. 48, no 3, 358-365 p.
Keyword [en]
ascites, cirrhosis, potassium, prognosis, signs
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90189DOI: 10.3109/00365521.2012.743583ISI: 000315313400013OAI: diva2:612376

Funding Agencies|Meda||SILK, the Swedish Internal Medicine Liver Club||

Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-03-21 Last updated: 2014-02-18

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Almer, Sven
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Gastroenterology and HepatologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Gastroentorology
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