Arterial blood gas analysis aids early differential diagnosis and treatment of primary and secondary hypokalaemic periodic paralysis


This study aimed to examine changes in electrolytes and acid-base status in primary and secondary hypokalaemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP), which will help early differential diagnosis of HypoPP. A total of 64 HypoPP patients were enrolled and relevant data from clinical records was collected. Overall, 64 patients (mean age 28.2±7.3 years) of which 58(91%) were males, with 39, 11 and 14 patients, respectively, diagnosed as primary HypoPP, thyrotoxic HypoPP, and other secondary HypoPPs at discharge, were assessed. Those with HypoPP secondary to conditions other than hyperthyroidism were more likely to develop acid-base imbalance (p<0.001); they had higher pH (p=0.046) and HCO3 levels (p=0.014) at baseline, and needed a higher dose of potassium supplement before the serum potassium level returned to normal (p=0.007) and a longer time to regain full muscle strength (p=0.004), compared with those with primary or thyrotoxic HypoPP. Emergent arterial blood gas analysis may aid early differential diagnosis of patients with primary and secondary HypoPP.

Keywords: Hypokalaemic periodic paralysis, arterial blood gas, acid-base balance
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