Electrolyte imbalance: common causes and ECG abnormalities


Gintarė Vaičaitytė1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine


Electrolyte and fluid balance is one of the most important keys to maintain homeostatis in human body. Different electrolytes are important for protecting cellular functions, maintaining acid-base balance, tissue perfusion [1]. Electrolytes help to maintain coordinated activity of muscular, nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Imbalance of electrolytes can be linked to different metabolic disorders, use of medication, food consumption [1]. Magnesium, potassium and calcium are the most important electrolytes for maintaining the appropriate function of cardiovascular system. The changes of serum levels of these microelements (hypo or hyper) can cause severe and even lethal conditions that can be suspected by non – specific changes in electrocardiography (ECG). So it is very important to notice these changes in order to diagnose and rapidly treat these electrolyte disorders.

Keywords: electrogardiography, electrolyte imbalance, potassium, magnesium, calcium.