Potassium-Induced Lesions of the Small Bowel: I. Clinical Aspects

Scott J. Boley, Arthur C. Allen, Leon Schultz, Solomon Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Enteric-coated potassium chloride is responsible for a striking increase in ulcerative lesions of the small intestine. Pathologically these lesions are venous infarctions of varying severity; patients present with obstruction or signs of perforation, or both, and rarely with bleeding. Roentgenologic studies demonstrate partial intestinal obstruction. Careful investigation of drug ingestion is essential in making the diagnosis. Based on clinical, experimental, and pathological studies, aggressive surgical therapy is recommended. Because irreversible damage may have occurred by the time symptoms appear, medications containing enteric-coated potassium should be limited to patients who require thiazides and whose potassium requirements cannot be met by dietary means.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1000
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 20 1965
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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