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International Journal of Nephrology
Volume 2011, Article ID 759749, 3 pages
Case Report

Pseudohyperkalemia in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Division of Nephrology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33606, USA

Received 20 October 2010; Accepted 25 January 2011

Academic Editor: Alejandro Martín-Malo

Copyright © 2011 Stephen I. Rifkin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pseudohyperkalemia occurs occasionally in patients with extreme leukocytosis. Increased white blood cell fragility coupled with mechanical stress is felt to be causal. Serum and plasma potassium levels have been both associated with pseudohyperkalemia. Whole blood potassium determination will usually verify the correct diagnosis. It is important to diagnose this condition early so that patients are not inappropriately treated. Two patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and extreme leukocytosis are presented, one with pseudohyperkalemia and one with probable pseudohyperkalemia, and diagnostic considerations are discussed