Friday, September 2, 2016

Question from OUWB M2s on potassium excretion

Here is the question:
Regarding potassium secretion, I'm having a little trouble understanding one concept: increased flow rates with the collecting tubules results in increased potassium secretion. Say a person is on a loop diuretic and their flow rates are increased. I understand that increasing sodium delivery will result in more potassium secretion, but how does the flow rate affect it? 
I would've guessed high flow rates would decrease sodium re-absorption and therefore decrease potassium secretions.

My answer was just a figure from The Fluid and Electrolyte Acid Base Companion:

  The idea is that increased tubular flow has two interrelated explanations for why it increases potassium excretion. 
  1. The first is that when potassium excreted by either the ROMK or Big K channel, potassium in the tubule then will decrease the chemical gradient from in the cell to out of the cell. By increasing the tubular  flow potassium is quickly washed away, maintaining (or refreshing) the chemical gradient. 
  2. The second is that increased tubular flow is really synonymous with increased sodium delivery. This sodium is then sucked up by the eNaC allowing the generation of the electronegative tubule increasing the excretion of potassium.
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