Cook EE, Davis J, Israni R, Mu F, Betts KA, Anzalone D, Yin L, Szerlip H, Uwaifo GI, Fonseca V, Wu EQ
Introduction Although hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis often co-occur in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the prevalence of metabolic acidosis among patients with CKD and hyperkalemia is understudied. Therefore, we used medical record data from the Research Action for Health Network to estimate this prevalence. Methods Adult patients with CKD stage 3-5, >= 1 outpatient potassium value > 5.0 mEq/l, and >= 1 outpatient bicarbonate value available were identified. Patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) in the prior year were excluded. The prevalence of metabolic acidosis in each calendar year from 2014 to 2017 among patients with CKD and hyperkalemia was estimated using two definitions of hyperkalemia (potassium > 5.0 mEq/l and > 5.5 mEq/l) and metabolic acidosis (bicarbonate < 18 mEq/l and < 22 mEq/l). Results In the 2017 patient cohort and among patients with CKD and hyperkalemia, patients with metabolic acidosis were younger (69 versus 74 years), more likely to have advanced CKD (35% versus 13%), and use oral sodium bicarbonate (21% versus 4%) than patients without metabolic acidosis. The prevalence of metabolic acidosis (< 22 mEq/l) ranged from 25 to 29% when hyperkalemia was defined by potassium > 5.0 mEq/l and ranged from 33 to 39% when hyperkalemia was defined by potassium > 5.5 mEq/l. Conclusion Results demonstrated that prevalence estimates of metabolic acidosis varied based on the definition of hyperkalemia and metabolic acidosis utilized.