Introduction: Electrolyte imbalance associated with cisplatin is quite prevalent, and increase
morbidity in cancer patients.
Objectives: To determine the frequency of electrolyte imbalance associated with cisplatin in
oral cancer patients.
Patients and Methods: Oral cancer patients of more than 16 years of age, who received
cisplatin-based cancer chemotherapy, were monitored for electrolyte imbalance (Na, K, Ca
and Mg). Patients who were as the known cases of kidney disease (acute or chronic) or those
having electrolyte imbalance prior to start of chemotherapy were excluded. Primary outcome
was to determine electrolyte imbalance.
Results: Among 98 patients, 90 patients developed electrolyte imbalance to cisplatin
chemotherapy. The observed electrolyte imbalance included hyponatremia, hypokalemia,
hypomagnesemia and hypocalcaemia. Hypokalemia is found to be the most common electrolyte
to be affected in the patients (91.8%), whereas hypocalcemia in 88.7%, hypomagnesemia in
67.34% is also observed. Mild hyponatremia is also observed less frequently in 67% of patients.
Conclusion: Cisplatin-based chemotherapy has a high potential to cause electrolyte imbalance.
Most of the abnormalities were of milder nature and not associated with symptoms. The
common electrolyte abnormalities such as hypokalemia, hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia
were statistically significant, but hyponatremia was not statistically significant.