Open Access Case report

Hypokalemic paralysis associated with cystic disease of the kidney: case report

Champika SSSK Gamakaranage1, Chaturaka Rodrigo2, Saroj Jayasinghe2 and Senaka Rajapakse2*

Author Affiliations

1 University Medical Unit, National Hospital, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka

2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka

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BMC Nephrology 2011, 12:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-12-16

Published: 18 April 2011



Severe hypokalemia is known to cause muscle paralysis, and renal tubular acidosis is a recognized cause. Cystic disease of the kidney is associated with severe hypokalemia.

Case presentation

We report a 33-year-old male patient who presented with generalized limb weakness caused by severe hypokalemia due to renal tubular acidosis, who was found to have renal medullary cysts.


The association of cystic renal disease with hypokalemia, and the possible pathophysiological basis of the development of renal cysts in patients with severe hypokalemia, are discussed.

hypokalemia; renal tubular acidosis; medullary cystic kidney; renal cysts