COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Salbutamol versus cation-exchange resin (kayexalate) for the treatment of nonoliguric hyperkalemia in preterm infants

Hakam Yaseen, Mona Khalaf, Ahmed Dana, Noha Yaseen, Maha Darwich
American Journal of Perinatology 2008, 25 (3): 193-7
18425722
Our objective was to compare the efficacy and safety of rectal cation-exchange resin (Kayexalate) versus salbutamol infusion for the treatment of nonoliguric hyperkalemia (NOHK) in preterm infants. Data of all neonates born with NOHK during the study period of 6 years and 8 months were recorded. Diagnostic criteria of NOHK included serum potassium (SK) concentration > or = 7 mmol/L during the first 72 hours of life with urine output > or = 1 mL/kg/hour. This before-after study was divided according to the date of admission; the first 15 patients were treated with Kayexalate enema 1 g/kg every 4 hours, and the remaining 30 patients were treated with intravenous salbutamol infusion as 4 mug/kg every 4 hours. Treatment discontinued when SK became < 6 mmol/L. SK was measured every 4 hours. Daily urine was collected. Fluid intake and output, serum electrolytes, urea, creatinine, and glucose concentrations were obtained in all infants every 12 hours. All infants were observed with a cardiorespiratory monitor and oxygen saturation and blood pressure measurements. Perinatal characteristics in both groups were comparable. Mean gestational age was 26 and 28 weeks for salbutamol and Kayexalate, respectively. The peak of SK ranged between 7 and 9.3 mmol/L in the Kayexalate group and between 7 and 8.7 mmol/L in the salbutamol group ( P = 0.64). At 12 hours of treatment, SK became normal in only 4 patients (26%) in the Kayexalate group compared with 18 patients (60%) in the salbutamol group ( P = 0.003). The number of doses of Kayexalate administration was significantly higher than the doses of salbutamol ( P = 0.003). No significant side effects were detected in the salbutamol-treated infants. In contrast, there were two cases of severe ventricular tachycardia and one case of intestinal obstruction in the cation-exchange resin group. We concluded that salbutamol infusion is more effective with faster action and safer than cation-exchange resin (Kayexalate) for the treatment of NOHK in preterm infants.

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