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Regulation of Potassium Homeostasis.

ABSTRACT

Potassium is the most abundant cation in the intracellular fluid, and maintaining the proper distribution of potassium across the cell membrane is critical for normal cell function. Long-term maintenance of potassium homeostasis is achieved by alterations in renal excretion of potassium in response to variations in intake. Understanding the mechanism and regulatory influences governing the internal distribution and renal clearance of potassium under normal circumstances can provide a framework for approaching disorders of potassium commonly encountered in clinical practice. This paper reviews key aspects of the normal regulation of potassium metabolism and is designed to serve as a readily accessible review for the well informed clinician as well as a resource for teaching trainees and medical students.