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Selective Review of Key Perioperative Renal-Electrolyte Disturbances in Chronic Renal Failure Patients*

Jerry Yee, MD; Raviprasenna Parasuraman; Robert G. Narins, MD
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*From the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Correspondence to: Robert G. Narins, MD, Chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, 2799 W Grand Blvd, CFP-5, Detroit, MI 48202



Chest. 1999;115(suppl_2):149S-157S. doi:10.1378/chest.115.suppl_2.149S
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The medical care of chronic renal failure patients is often complicated by the comorbid conditions of hypertension and coronary artery disease in the perioperative period. The limitations on solute and water excretion imposed by renal dysfunction increase the susceptibility of this population to both salt deficit and surfeit, as well as hyponatremia and hypernatremia perioperatively. Accurate assessment and successful treatment of these complications in renal failure patients require understanding of the concept of electrolyte-free water, proper utilization of diuretics, and calculated prescription of fluid therapy. The presence of hyperkalemia in the adapted renal failure patient generally indicates a severe reduction in glomerular filtration, such that nonrenal hypokalemic treatments are imperative. IV calcium-based therapy and infusion of insulin with glucose represent the mainstays of immediate therapy, and sodium bicarbonate therapy should be given only when severe acidemia is present. Perioperative aggravation of preexistent hypertension is common. Rebound hypertension attributable to injudicious adjustment of the medical regimen should be diligently searched for first, before any new therapies are recommended. Relief of pain or anxiety may be all that is necessary. Briefly acting calcium channel blocker therapy should not be employed in these cases, and smooth IV control by a variety of agents is preferable, the choice of the agent contingent on the clinical scenario.

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