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International Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Research


Seasonal Pseudohypokalemia in Paediatric Patients in Tropical Climate


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Author Details: Sucharita Mohanty, Alpana Mishra

Volume : 2

Issue : 4

Online ISSN : 2394-6377

Print ISSN : 2394-6369

Article First Page : 223

Article End Page : 225


Abstract

Background: During the summer it has been observed, a rise in incidence of hypokalemia in paediatric patients. The phenomenon of seasonal pseudohypokalaemia has been reported previously. High ambient temperature may be a spurious cause of hypokalemia.1, 2
Method: The study was undertaken to observe the effect of temperature on the level of serum potassium in children. The children in the age group of 1- 14 years, admitted to SVPPGIP, Cuttack, Odisha, were selected for the study. A retrospective record based study was conducted from December 2014 to August 2015.
Results: The mean potassium concentration during winter (December2014 to February 2015) was 4.53 ± 0.89 mmol/L and during summer (March 2015 to August 2015) was 4.36 ± 1.19 mmol/L. The mean temperature in summer and winter were 36.18 ± 3.14°C and 29.79 ± 3.16°C respectively. There was a negative correlation (r =-0.118) between serum potassium and ambient temperature (p<0.0001). The proportion of hypokalemic samples was significantly higher in summer than winter with odds ratio 1.507.
Conclusion: The high ambient temperature in tropical climate may be the cause of seasonal pseudohypokalemia in paediatric patients. In vitro changes in potassium are more complex than is usually stated in textbooks.8 The exact timing and temperature are clearly critical in determining the result that is actually reported by the laboratory.

Keywords: Pseudohypokalemia, Tropical climate, Paediatric patients.