Evaluation of electrolyte imbalance among tuberculosis patients receiving treatments in Southwestern Nigeria

  • AW Olalekan
  • FA Oluwaseun
  • HA Oladele
  • AD Akeem


Background: Electrolyte disturbances have been reported in both tuberculosis (TB) infection alone and TB-HIV co-infected patients.
Objectives: To evaluate the effects of treatments on the imbalance of some electrolytes among patients infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Osogbo Southwestern Nigeria.
Methodology: A total of one hundred and ten patients participated in this study. They were divided into four groups as follows: group 1 contains 50 normal patients without TB or HIV infection (M = 25; F = 25), group 2 20 new positive cases of TB patients without HIV infection (M = 13; F =07), group 3 20 new positive cases of tuberculosis co-infected with HIV infection (M = 10; F = 10), and group 4 20 positive cases of TB patients on anti tuberculous drugs (M = 11; F =09). All patients were screened for the  presence and absence of TB, HIV and the level of some electrolytes in plasma (sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonates) were determined using standard methods.
Results: Levels of sodium in TB patients on drugs (TBD) were significantly lowered compared to new case tuberculosis (NCT) patients (134.80 ± 5.83 mmol/L vs 142.10± 6.68 mmol/L) while potassium levels were significantly elevated in TB patients on drugs compared with their new case counterparts (3.75 ± 0.15 mmol/L vs 3.07 ± 0.42 mmol/L) P < 0.05 respectively. Chloride levels were significantly decreased in TB patients on treatment compared to new case tuberculosis NCT (99.26± 6.85 mmol/L vs 108.76± 8.42 mmol/L) while serum bicarbonate levels were significantly elevated in TB patients on drug (TBD) compared to their NCT counterparts (24.00± 1.81 mmol/L vs 21.00± 2.05 mmol/L, P< 0.05, respectively).
Conclusion: Hyponatraemia, hyperkalaemia, and hypochloremia characterized some of the electrolyte imbalance among TB patients receiving treatments. The raised level of bicarbonate may be attributed to overcorrection of respiratory acidosis often found in patients with tuberculosis. Monitoring electrolytes is therefore an important component of TB management.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2090-2948
print ISSN: 1110-0834