The main purpose of this Manual is to provide useful guidelines for the selection of pathology tests and to facilitate interpretation of results.
Contains a comprehensive listing of all genes from the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) database alongside laboratories and tests available in the country.
A manual for the process of macroscopic dissection in Anatomical Pathology laboratories.
Donate online now using the button below. RCPA Foundation thanks you for your generous support. All funds raised will be allocated to the RCPA Foundation Pathology Education Outreach Fellowship.
Events and Sponsorship Manager
Ph: +61 2 8356 5806
Fax: +61 2 8356 5828
Events and Grants Coordinator
Ph: +61 2 8356 5852
Fax: +61 2 8356 5828
5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.
Rapid separation of plasma or serum from cells is essential (within 4 h).
Whole blood must never be stored or transported at < 10°C.
With marked leucocytosis and thrombocytosis, blood for potassium measurements should be specially handled by the laboratory. Plasma is required in these situations.
ISE or flame emission spectrophotometry.
See Table 6 for serum and plasma reference intervals.
Monitoring potassium status in patients on diuretics or on intravenous therapy, and in those with renal disease, acid-base disturbances or GIT fluid losses.
Investigation of mineralocorticoid status.
Increased levels are usually found in acidosis, tissue damage, renal failure and mineralocorticoid deficiency.
Decreased levels are found in association with loop or thiazide diuretic therapy, vomiting or diarrhoea, alkalosis, during treatment of acidosis, and with mineralocorticoid excess.
Haemolysis during collection, delay in separation, refrigeration of unseparated blood, marked leucocytosis and thrombocytosis, and muscle activity of limb immediately prior to venepuncture can falsely increase potassium levels.
See Table 1.
Gennari FJ. Crit Care Clin 2002; 18(2): 273-288.
Page last updated:
The RCPA is the leading organisation representing Pathologists and Senior Scientists in Australasia.
Its mission is to train and support pathologists and senior scientists and to improve the use of pathology testing to achieve better healthcare.
Copyright © 2021 RCPA. All rights reserved.