DOI: 10.1186/s13550-018-0370-zPages: 1-8

Hyperkalemia in patients treated with endoradiotherapy combined with amino acid infusion is associated with severe metabolic acidosis

1. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Department of Nephrology

3. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Hospital Pharmacy Department

4. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Department of Pathobiochemistry

5. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Department of Urology

6. Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Institute of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology

Correspondence to:
Christoph Schmaderer
Email: christoph.schmaderer@tum.de

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Abstract

Background

Amino acid co-infusion for renal protection in endoradiotherapy (ERT) applied as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted radioligand therapy (RLT) or peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) has been shown to cause severe hyperkalemia. The pathophysiology behind the rapid development of hyperkalemia is not well understood. We hypothesized that the hyperkalemia should be associated with metabolic acidosis.

Results

Twenty-two patients underwent ERT. Prior to the first cycle, excretory kidney function was assessed by mercapto-acetyltriglycine (MAG-3) renal scintigraphy, serum biochemistry, and calculated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). All patients received co-infusion of the cationic amino acids L-arginine and L-lysine for nephroprotection. Clinical symptoms, electrolytes, and acid-base status were evaluated at baseline and after 4 h.

No patient developed any clinically relevant side effects. At baseline, acid base status and electrolytes were normal in all patients. Excretory kidney function was normal or only mildly impaired in all except two patients with stage 3 renal insufficiency. All patients developed hyperkalemia. Base excess and HCO3 were significantly lower after 4 h. In parallel, mean pH dropped from 7.36 to 7.29. There was a weak association between calculated (r = − 0.21) as well as MAG-3-derived GFR (r = − 0.32) and the rise in potassium after 4 h.

Conclusion

Amino acid co-infusion during ERT leads to severe metabolic acidosis which induces hyperkalemia by potassium hydrogen exchange. This novel finding implies that commercially available bicarbonate solutions might be an easy therapeutic option to correct metabolic acidosis rapidly.

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  • Accepted: Feb 19, 2018
  • Online: Feb 27, 2018

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