Potassium Test - part of the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

This test measures the amount of potassium in the fluid portion (serum) of the blood. Potassium (K+) helps nerves and muscles communicate. It also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

This test is part of Cardio-Med's complete physical exam.

You may have this test to diagnose or monitor kidney disease. The most common cause of high potassium levels is kidney disease.

Potassium is important to heart function.

It may also be done if your physician suspects metabolic acidosis (for example, caused by uncontrolled diabetes) or alkalosis (for example, caused by excess vomiting).

Sometimes, the potassium test may be done in people who are having an attack of paralysis.

Normal Results

The normal range is 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L.

What Abnormal Results Mean

High levels of potassium (hyperkalemia) may be due to:

Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia) may be due to:


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Adapted from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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