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Category Biochemistry
Test background

Electrolytes are usually measured as part of a renal profile, which measures sodium, potassium, creatinine and urea. Potassium is found mainly inside the body’s cells but a small, vital amount is found in the plasma. Monitoring potassium is important as small changes in the plasma potassium concentration can affect the heart’s rhythm and ability to contract.

Clinical Indications

Suspected renal failure Monitoring of patients receiving intravenous fluids Monitoring of established chronic kidney disease Urine potassium for differential diagnosis of hypokalaemia

Reference range

Blood  3.5-5.3 mmol/L
Urine  No range quoted

Sample & container required SST (gold top) 24 hour urine collection
Sample volume Blood: 0.5 mL; Urine: 24 hour collection
Turnaround time Blood 1 day; Urine 2 days