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A randomized study to compare oral potassium binders in the treatment of acute hyperkalemia.



The KBindER (K+ Binders in Emergency Room and hospitalized patients) clinical trial is the first head-to-head evaluation of oral potassium binders (cation-exchange resins) for acute hyperkalemia therapy.


Emergency room and hospitalized patients with a blood potassium level ≥ 5.5 mEq/L are randomized to one of four study groups: potassium binder drug (sodium polystyrene sulfonate, patiromer, or sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) or nonspecific laxative (polyethylene glycol). Exclusion criteria include recent bowel surgery, ileus, diabetic ketoacidosis, or anticipated dialysis treatment within 4 h of treatment drug. Primary endpoints include change in potassium level at 2 and 4 h after treatment drug. Length of hospital stay, next-morning potassium level, gastrointestinal side effects and palatability will also be analyzed. We are aiming for a final cohort of 80 patients with complete data endpoints (20 per group) for comparative statistics including multivariate adjustment for kidney function, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, metabolic acidosis, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor prescription, and treatment with other agents to lower potassium (insulin, albuterol, loop diuretics).


The findings from our study will inform decision-making guidelines on the role of oral potassium binders in the treatment of acute hyperkalemia.

Trial registration Identifier: NCT04585542 . Registered 14 October 2020.

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