Hypokalemia differential diagnosis

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Hypokalemia must be differentiated from other causes of diabetes insipidus.

Type of DI Subclass Disease Defining signs and symptoms Lab/Imaging findings
Central Acquired Histiocytosis
  • CD1a and CD45 +
  • Interleukin-17 (ILITA)
Skull x-ray of a patient with Langerhan's histiocytosis showing lytic lesions - Case courtesy of Dr Hani Salam, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 9459
Brain MRI showing suprasellar mass consistent with the diagnosis of craniopharyngioma - Case courtesy of A.Prof Frank Gaillard, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 16812
Contrast-enhanced patches in a patient previously diagnosed with lung sarcoidosis - Case courtesy of A.Prof Frank Gaillard, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 10930
Congenital Hydrocephalus Dilated ventricles on CT and MRI
Obstructive hydrocephalus showing dilated lateral ventricles - Case courtesy of Dr Paul Simkin, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 30453
Wolfram Syndrome (DIDMOAD)
Nephrogenic Acquired Drug-induced (demeclocycline, lithium)
  • Ca levels greater than 11 meq/L
  • K levels less than 3meq/L on CBC
Multiple myeloma
Skeletal survey in a patient with multiple myeloma showing multiple lytic lesions - Case courtesy of A.Prof Frank Gaillard, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 7682
Sickle cell disease
Blood film showing the sickle cells - By Dr Graham Beards - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18421017
Primary polydipsia Psychogenic
Gestational diabetes insipidus
Diabetes mellitus
  • Elevated blood sugar levels >126
  • Elevated HbA1c > 6.5


  1. Ghosh KN, Bhattacharya A (1992). "Gonotrophic nature of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the laboratory.". Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 34 (2): 181–2. PMID 1340034.