4 years ago

Incidence of and risk factors for newly diagnosed hyperkalemia after hospital discharge in non-dialysis-dependent CKD patients treated with RAS inhibitors

Yasuhiro Komatsu, Osamu Takahashi, Yuki Saito, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Hideki Nakajima

by Yuki Saito, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Hideki Nakajima, Osamu Takahashi, Yasuhiro Komatsu


Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors have been increasingly prescribed due to their beneficial effects on end-organ protection. Iatrogenic hyperkalemia is a well-known life-threatening complication of RAS inhibitor use in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. We hypothesized that CKD patients treated with RAS inhibitors frequently develop hyperkalemia after hospital discharge even if they were normokalemic during their hospitalization because their lifestyles change substantially after discharge. The present study aimed to examine the incidence of newly diagnosed hyperkalemia, the timing of hyperkalemia, and its risk factors in CKD patients treated with RAS inhibitors at the time of hospital discharge.


We retrospectively enrolled patients aged 20 years or older with CKD G3-5 (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) and who were treated with RAS inhibitors and discharged from St. Luke’s International Hospital between July 2011 and December 2015. Patients who were under maintenance dialysis or had hyperkalemic events before discharge were excluded. Data regarding the patients’ age, sex, CKD stage, diabetes mellitus status, malignancy status, combined use of RAS inhibitors, concurrent medication, and hyperkalemic events after discharge were extracted from the hospital database. Our primary outcome was hyperkalemia, defined as serum potassium ≥ 5.5 mEq/L. Multiple logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to identify the risk factors for and the timing of hyperkalemia, respectively.


Among the 986 patients, 121 (12.3%) developed hyperkalemia after discharge. In the regression analysis, relative to CKD G3a, G3b [odds ratio (OR): 1.88, 95% confidence interval 1.20–2.97] and G4-5 (OR: 3.40, 1.99–5.81) were significantly associated with hyperkalemia. The use of RAS inhibitor combinations (OR: 1.92, 1.19–3.10), malignancy status (OR: 2.10, 1.14–3.86), and baseline serum potassium (OR: 1.91, 1.23–2.97) were also significantly associated with hyperkalemia. The Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that hyperkalemia was most frequent during the early period after discharge, particularly within one month.


Hyperkalemia was frequent during the early period after discharge among previously normokalemic CKD patients who were treated with RAS inhibitors. Appropriate follow-up after discharge should be required for these patients, particularly those with advanced CKD or malignancy status, such as hematological malignancy or late-stage malignancy, and those who are treated with multiple RAS inhibitors.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184402

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