Elevated blood potassium. Potassium is the major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The chemical notation for potassium is K+. The proper level of potassium is essential for normal cell function. An abnormal increase (or decrease) of potassium can profoundly affect the nervous system and heart, and when extreme, can be fatal. The normal blood potassium level is 3.5 - 5.0 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 3.5 - 5.0
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A greater than normal concentration of potassium ions in the circulating blood. SYN: hyperkaliemia, hyperpotassemia. [hyper- + Mod. L. kalium, potash, + G. haima, blood]

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hy·per·ka·le·mia or chiefly Brit hy·per·ka·lae·mia .hī-pər-kā-'lē-mē-ə n the presence of an abnormally high concentration of potassium in the blood called also hyperpotassemia
hy·per·ka·le·mic or chiefly Brit hy·per·ka·lae·mic -'lē-mik adj

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hy·per·ka·le·mia (hi″pər-kə-leґme-ə) [hyper- + L. kalium potassium + -emia] abnormally high potassium concentration in the blood, most often due to defective renal excretion. It is characterized clinically by electrocardiographic abnormalities (elevated T waves, depressed P waves, and wide QRS complexes, eventually with atrial asystole). In severe cases, weakness and flaccid paralysis may occur. Called also potassemia and hyperpotassemia. hyperkalemic adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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