Nonneoplastic disorders
Kayexalate damage

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 July 2018, last major update December 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Kayexalate damage

Cite this page: Weisenberg, E. Kayexalate damage. website. Accessed July 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfonate) in sorbitol is used to treat hyperkalemia
  • Symptoms are from sorbitol, given orally though NG tube or as an enema, may crystallize in esophagus, stomach or duodenum and produce endoscopic ulcers and erosions resembling carcinoma or Candida (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:637)
  • Colonic infarction and erosions reported
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Crystals are lightly basophilic with a faint crystalline mosaic pattern, better seen with PAS / Alcian blue
  • Crystals are refractile but not polarizable, luminal and adherent to intact surface epithelium or mixed with inflammatory exudate in patients with ulcer or erosion