Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why is this patient weak?

35 year old presents with diffuse weakness.

Answer is below:

There are very large U-waves best seen in precordial leads V2-V5.  U-waves that are this prominent are almost always the result of profound hypokalemia.  The patient had a potassium of 2.2 mEq/L, and has hypokalemic periodic paralysis.

For other cases of hypokalemia, go here:

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