Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:

Chemistry

Test Name:

POTASSIUM (K)

General Information

Lab Order Codes:

K

Synonyms:

K

CPT Codes:

84132 – Potassium; serum

Test Includes:

Potassium concentration measured in mEq/L. Test is also a part of the Electrolyte Panel, Basic Metabolic Panel, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and Renal Panel.

Logistics

Test Indications:

Potassium is the major intracellular cation. Elevated values may be found in kidney disease, adrenal insufficiency, and diabetes mellitus. Low values are noted in prolonged diarrhea, vomiting and administration of diuretics.

Lab Testing Sections:

Chemistry

Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

30 minutes

Special Instructions:

See Collection

Specimen

Specimen Type:

Blood

Container:

Green top (Li Heparin) preferred
Alternate tube: Red top (plain, no gel) tube

Draw Volume:

0.6 mL blood

Processed Volume:

0.2 mL serum/plasma

Collection:

Routine collection. Must be an atraumatic draw without hemolysis.

Special Processing:

Lab Staff: Centrifuge specimen within 1 hour of collection, and remove serum/plasma aliquot into a plastic sample cup. Store at refrigerated temperatures.

Patient Preparation:

None

Sample Rejection:

Mislabeled or unlabeled specimen

Interpretive

Reference Range:

Age:

Range (mEq/L):

0 - 7 days:

3.7 - 5.0 mEq/L

8 days - 1 year:

4.1 - 5.3 mEq/L

1 - 12 years:

3.5 - 5.5 mEq/L

>12 years:

3.5 - 5.3 mEq/L

Critical Values:

<2.5 mEq/L or >6.5 mEq/L

Limitations:

Hemolysis of the sample will yield falsely increased potassium results. Hemolysis will be noted as a comment along with numerical results.

Samples exposed to benzylonium salts, present in certain blood catheter devices, will cause falsely increased potassium levels.

Methodology:

Integrated Multisensor Technology

References:

QuikLYTEŽ Integrated Multisensor insert sheet (2009-09-10) PN 717500.003 - US

Dimension RxL MAX Operator’s Guide (05/2003)

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry3rd Edition (1999) W.B. Saunders Company

Clinical Significance Dade Behring Inc., Glasgow Business Community, Mailbox 531, P.O. Box 6101, Newark, Delaware 19714

Jacobs & DeMott Laboratory Test Handbook (2001) Lexi-Comp, Inc, Hudson, OH, 5th Edition

Updates:

2/17/2005: Lower end Critical Value previously listed as <3.0 mEq/L.
8/13/2009: Turnaround time previously listed as 2 hours.



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