• Hypokalemia has been noted as a frequent complication of acute leukemia. To our knowledge, an association of this electrolyte disturbance with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), not in blast crisis, has never been reported. We report a unique case of hypokalemia that complicated the clinical course of a patient with nonblastic CML. The pathogenesis of the hypokalemia was shown to be inappropriate hyperkaluresis, which appeared to be related to lysozymuria and a large tumor burden. We discuss the pathogenesis of hypokalemia in leukemia. We think that the unusual features associated with CML in this case make a large tumor burden their most likely underlying cause. This may help explain the still confusing and unresolved relationship between lysozymuria and potassium wasting in leukemia.
(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:786-787)