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NBME 24 Answers
A 35-year-old man is brought to the emergency ...
Catecholamine-mediated intracellular shifts of K+
Catecholamines activate the Na/K pump, which will drive K inside.
Read online that catachelamines are released following tonic clonic seizures. Besides that, BP of 180/100 could indicate that catecholamines are circulating.
This mechanism is why giving albuterol for hyperkalemia works
Why does this guy have increased catecholamines tho
His SNS activity is seriously increased --> increased catecholamines.
Why is his SNS activity increased? Is the BP literally the only hint?
Alcohol withdrawal creates a hyper- catecholaminergic state + Seizures do that as well.
My best guess is that withdrawal puts the body in a state of stress (same for seizures) and with stress you have release of catecholamine which we'll see in the BP and the hypokalemia.