Narrative Review

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis: A Review of Pathophysiology, Clinical Features, and Treatment

Main Article Content

Sérgio Ferreira Cristina
Victor Espadinha
Hypokalemic periodic paralysis/diagnosis, Hypokalemic periodic paralysis/physiopathology, Hypolemic periodic paralysis/therapt


Hypokalemic periodic paralysis is a rare genetic skeletal muscle channelopathy characterized by recurrent attacks of tetraparesia associated with hypokalemia. Mutations in skeletal muscle sodium and calcium channels are responsible for the pathophysiology of this condition and each mutation seem to have different implication in both phenotype and response to treatment. Patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis present with recurrent muscle weakness and hypokalemia, frequently after exercise or copious meals, but are symptom free between attacks. Although potassium administration is the mainstay of acute treatment, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors play a significant role in prophylactic treatment. In this article, we aimed to review the pathophysiology, clinical features, and treatment options of hypokalemic periodic paralysis.

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Narrative Review
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Sérgio Ferreira Cristina, Hospital de Cascais Dr. Jose de Almeida

Internal Medicina Unit, Hospital de Cascais Dr. José de Almeida

Avenida Brigadeiro Victor Novais Gonçalves, 2755-009 Alcabideche

Cascais, Portugal

Corresponding Author

Victor Espadinha, Hospital de Cascais Dr. Jose de Almeida

Internal Medicine Unit, Hospital de Cascais Dr. José de Almeida

Avenida Brigadeiro Victor Novais Gonçalves, 2755-009 Alcabideche

Cascais, Portugal


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