A 22-year-old male asked:
what mechanism that high potassium causes cardiac arrest? i just know high k+ causes hyper excitability of cells?
1 doctor answer
A Verified Doctor answered
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Cell repolarization: When cardiac muscle cells fire, they use up part of the electrochemical gradient they maintain in life. They are repolarized by an outward potassium (K+) flux across the plasma membrane. This outward K+ current depends on the K+ electrochemical gradient. If the "outside" K+ (in blood & interstitial fluid) is very high, that destroys the K+ electrochemical gradient, the cells can't repol; they stop
Answered on Aug 28, 2014
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