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      Evidence for large intestinal control of potassium homoeostasis in uraemic patients undergoing long-term dialysis.

      Clinical Science (London, England : 1979)

      metabolism, Adult, Aldosterone, blood, Anthropometry, Electrolytes, Female, Homeostasis, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory, Potassium, Rectum, Renal Dialysis, Uremia

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          1. The role of the large intestine in the maintenance of K+ balance in uraemic patients established on long-term dialysis was studied with a rectal dialysis technique in 14 normal subjects, ten normokalaemic patients undergoing chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), and seven patients undergoing haemodialysis. Dietary K+ intakes in the normal subjects, CAPD patients and haemodialysis patients were 80-100 mmol/24 h, 70-80 mmol/24 h and 60-70 mmol/24 h, respectively. 2. At an initial intraluminal K+ concentration of 45 mmol/l, rectal K+ secretion in the CAPD patients (2.4 +/- 0.4 mumol h-1 cm-2) was greater than in normal subjects (1.2 +/- 0.2 mumol h-1 cm-2, P less than 0.02). Under similar conditions, rectal K+ secretion was also greater in the haemodialysis patients than in normal subjects, both predialysis (3.7 +/- 0.4 mumol h-1 cm-2, P less than 0.001) and postdialysis (2.4 +/- 0.5 mumol h-1 cm-2, P less than 0.05), even though haemodialysis decreased plasma K+ concentration from 5.3 +/- 0.1 mmol/l to 3.5 +/- 0.2 mmol/l (P less than 0.001). 3. There were no significant differences in rectal Na+ absorption, rectal potential difference, plasma aldosterone concentration, or total body K+ content (measured by whole-body counting of 40K), between the normal subjects and either the CAPD or the haemodialysis patients. 4. These results indicate that K+ homoeostasis is maintained in uraemic patients undergoing long-term dialysis by a combination of K+ losses during dialysis, and enhanced large intestinal K+ excretion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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