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Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a syndrome characterized by episodes of motor weakness accompanied by low serum potassium levels in between periods of well-being. 

EPIDEMIOLOGY

  • There...

DIAGNOSIS

  • The diagnostic criteria for primary paralysis as defined by the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC) (2) are as follows:

    • Two or more attacks of muscle weakness with documented serum K <3...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Reconfirm the low potassium levels. Needs ICU monitoring during correction of the hypokalemia. Management can be divided into acute and chronic stages.

  • In acute state—potassiu...

ONGOING CARE

  • Chronic management plan involves preventive strategies such as a low-carbohydrate diet and avoiding high-intensity exercises.

  • A Cochrane review suggests that although there is still lack o...

REFERENCES

1
Vicart S, Sternberg D, Arzel-Hézode M, et al. Hypokalemic periodic paralysis. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, et al, eds. Gene Reviews. Seattle, WA: University of Washington; 2017. [Vi...

ADDITIONAL READING

Lin SH, Lin YF, Chen DT, et al. Laboratory tests to determine the cause of hypokalemia and paralysis. Arch Intern Med.  2004;164(14):1561–1566. [View Abstract on OvidMedline] 

CODES

ICD10

G72.3 Periodic paralysis 

ICD9

359.3 Periodic paralysis 

SNOMED

82732003 Familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis (disorder) 

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Although hypokalemic periodic paralysis is associated with low potassium levels, it may exist with normal potassium levels.

  • Secondary causes are more common than primary, and therefore,...

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