Last updated on: March 8th, 2023

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Metabolic disorders 2

A 70-year-old man with a history of laryngeal cancer comes to the emergency department because of a 3-week history of worsening dysphagia. During the past week, he has only been able to take fluids orally. Physical examination shows signs of malnutrition. A electrolyte panel is normal. He is admitted, a nasogastric tube is placed, and enteral nutrition is started. Two days later, he suffers an arrhythmia, and a new electrolyte panel shows phosphate 1.9 mg/dL (3.0-4.5) and potassium 2.4 mEq/L (3.5-5.0). What is the most likely cause of these findings?

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