The potassium urine test measures the amount of potassium in a certain amount of urine.
After you provide a urine sample, it is tested in the lab. If needed, the health care provider may ask you to collect your urine at home over 24 hours. Your provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
Your provider may ask you to temporarily stop taking any medicines that may affect the test results. Tell your provider about all the medicines you take, including:
DO NOT stop taking any medicine before talking to your provider.
This test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Your provider may order this test if you have signs of a condition that affects body fluids, such as dehydration, vomiting, or diarrhea.
It may also be done to diagnose or confirm disorders of the kidneys or adrenal glands.
For adults, normal urine potassium values are generally 20 mEq/L in a random urine sample and 25 to 125 mEq per day in a 24 hour collection. Lower or higher urinary level may occur depending on the amount of potassium in your diet and the amount of potassium in your body.
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
A higher than normal urine potassium level may be due to:
Low urine potassium level may be due to:
There are no risks with this test.
Kamel KS, Halperin ML. Interpretation of electrolyte and acid-base parameters in blood and urine. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 24.
Villeneuve P-M, Bagshaw SM. Assessment of urine biochemistry. In: Ronco C, Bellomo R, Kellum JA, Ricci Z, eds. Critical Care Nephrology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 55.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 7/4/2019
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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