2010 Volume 49 Issue 4 Pages 307-313
A bedridden 85-year-old woman had hyperpotassemia (7.7 mEq/L) and bradycardia (30/min). Endocrinologic findings revealed a decrease in the renin-aldosterone system and normal adrenoglucocorticoid function. The results were consistent with the abnormalities seen in selective hypoaldosteronism with low renin activity. In addition, 9 of 11 patients, selected randomly from 72 bedridden elderly patients with normal serum sodium and potassium levels in our hospital, had diminished plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC). The present patient was prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAID reduces renal potassium excretion through the inhibition of renal prostaglandin synthesis. Therefore, the use of NSAID in bedridden elderly patients might intensify the underlying asymptomatic hypoaldosteronism and cause life-threatening hyperpotassemia.