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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Saltpeter ingestion.

A 37-year-old man presented to the emergency department after an attempt to self-treat his priapism with saltpeter (K+NO3). Initially he had a potassium of 7.6 with electrocardiographic changes and a markedly elevated CO2. The potassium and carbon dioxide normalized in less than 24 hours with standard treatment for hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia is expected with large oral potassium ingestion; and the elevated CO2 was spurious, caused by the misreading of serum nitrates by the Ektachrom 700 system. Ingestion of K+NO3 should be added to the differential of hyperkalemia with a markedly elevated CO2.[1]


  1. Saltpeter ingestion. Sporer, K.A., Mayer, A.P. The American journal of emergency medicine. (1991) [Pubmed]
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