PathWays Case Study: September 1

An 85-year-old female with a ten-year history of high-risk progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) presented to the Emergency Department with vertigo and headache. Upon initial evaluation, her laboratory results showed a white blood cell (WBC) count of 233 x 109 cells/L (reference interval: 3.5–10.5 x 109 cells/L), platelet count of 136 x 109 platelets/L (reference interval: 150–450 x 109 platelets/L), and plasma potassium of 6.6 mmol/L (reference interval: 3.6–5.2 mmol/L). No conduction abnormalities were seen on her EKG. Repeat measurement of potassium by point-of-care testing (POCT) was 3.9 mmol/L. Additional serum and plasma samples were sent to the core laboratory for analysis and potassium results were 3.5, and 6.1 mmol/L, respectively.


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Brooke Katzman, Ph.D.

Brooke Katzman, Ph.D.
Fellow, Clinical Chemistry
Mayo Clinic




Nikola Baumann, Ph.D.

Nikola Baumann, Ph.D.
Consultant, Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services
Mayo Clinic
Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology,
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine


April Josselyn

April Josselyn is a Marketing Associate at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the editor of Mayo Clinic PathWays and supports corporate communications strategies and internal communications. She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2012. Outside of work, April enjoys the outdoors and being "hockey mom" for her two sports-crazed boys.


excelent case.

excellent case! We are currently developing a protocol to help evaluation hyperkalemia at the bench to determine if it is pseudo, reverse or real so that we can recommend appropropriate tests and the most likely result.

teaching excelent

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