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Why Is Potassium High In Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Producing Extreme Hyperkalemia In A Patient With Type 1 Diabetes On Hemodialysis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Producing Extreme Hyperkalemia In A Patient With Type 1 Diabetes On Hemodialysis

Hodaka Yamada1, Shunsuke Funazaki1, Masafumi Kakei1, Kazuo Hara1 and San-e Ishikawa2[1] Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan [2] Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, International University of Health and Welfare Hospital, Nasushiobara, Japan Summary Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a critical complication of type 1 diabetes associated with water and electrolyte disorders. Here, we report a case of DKA with extreme hyperkalemia (9.0 mEq/L) in a patient with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis. He had a left frontal cerebral infarction resulting in inability to manage his continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pump. Electrocardiography showed typical changes of hyperkalemia, including absent P waves, prolonged QRS interval and tented T waves. There was no evidence of total body water deficit. After starting insulin and rapid hemodialysis, the serum potassium level was normalized. Although DKA may present with hypokalemia, rapid hemodialysis may be necessary to resolve severe hyperkalemia in a patient with renal failure. Patients with type 1 diabetes on hemodialysis may develop ketoacidosis because of discontinuation of insulin treatment. Patients on hemodialysis who develop ketoacidosis may have hyperkalemia because of anuria. Absolute insulin deficit alters potassium distribution between the intracellular and extracellular space, and anuria abolishes urinary excretion of potassium. Rapid hemodialysis along with intensive insulin therapy can improve hyperkalemia, while fluid infusions may worsen heart failure in patients with ketoacidosis who routinely require hemodialysis. Background Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very common endocrinology emergency. It is usually associated with severe circulatory Continue reading >>

Hyperkalemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Hyperkalemia In Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Abstract Patients with diabetic ketoacidosis tend to have somewhat elevated serum K+ concentrations despite decreased body K+ content. The hyperkalemia was previously attributed mainly to acidemia. However, recent studies have suggested that "organic acidemias" (such as that produced by infusing beta-hydroxybutyric acid) may not cause hyperkalemia. To learn which, if any, routinely measured biochemical indices might correlate with the finding of hyperkalemia in diabetic ketoacidosis, we analyzed the initial pre-treatment values in 131 episodes in 91 patients. Serum K+ correlated independently and significantly (p less than 0.001) with blood pH (r = -0.39), serum urea N (r = 0.38) and the anion gap (r = 0.41). The mean serum K+ among the men was 5.55 mmol/l, significantly higher than among the women, 5.09 mmol/l (p less than 0.005). Twelve of the 16 patients with serum K+ greater than or equal to 6.5 mmol/l were men, as were all eight patients with serum K+ greater than or equal to 7.0 mmol/l. Those differences paralleled a significantly higher mean serum urea N concentration among the men (15.1 mmol/l) than the women (11.2 mmol/l, p less than 0.01). The greater tendency to hyperkalemia among the men in this series may have been due partly to their greater renal dysfunction during the acute illness. However, other factors that were not assessed, such as cell K+ release associated with protein catabolism, and insulin deficiency per se, may also have affected serum K+ in these patients. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

Diabetic Ketoacidosis - Symptoms

A A A Diabetic Ketoacidosis Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) results from dehydration during a state of relative insulin deficiency, associated with high blood levels of sugar level and organic acids called ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with significant disturbances of the body's chemistry, which resolve with proper therapy. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but diabetic ketoacidosis can develop in any person with diabetes. Since type 1 diabetes typically starts before age 25 years, diabetic ketoacidosis is most common in this age group, but it may occur at any age. Males and females are equally affected. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when a person with diabetes becomes dehydrated. As the body produces a stress response, hormones (unopposed by insulin due to the insulin deficiency) begin to break down muscle, fat, and liver cells into glucose (sugar) and fatty acids for use as fuel. These hormones include glucagon, growth hormone, and adrenaline. These fatty acids are converted to ketones by a process called oxidation. The body consumes its own muscle, fat, and liver cells for fuel. In diabetic ketoacidosis, the body shifts from its normal fed metabolism (using carbohydrates for fuel) to a fasting state (using fat for fuel). The resulting increase in blood sugar occurs, because insulin is unavailable to transport sugar into cells for future use. As blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys cannot retain the extra sugar, which is dumped into the urine, thereby increasing urination and causing dehydration. Commonly, about 10% of total body fluids are lost as the patient slips into diabetic ketoacidosis. Significant loss of potassium and other salts in the excessive urination is also common. The most common Continue reading >>

The Power Of Potassium

The Power Of Potassium

We’ve talked about several different minerals in past blog entries. Potassium is the mineral of choice for this week’s post for several reasons, and it’s a mineral that people with kidney problems should be sure to pay close attention to. What potassium does in the body First, let’s explore what potassium does in the body. This mineral is often referred to as an “electrolyte.” Electrolytes are electrically charged particles, called ions, which our cells use to maintain voltage across our cell membranes and carry electrical impulses, such as nerve impulses, to other cells. (Bet you didn’t think you had all this electrical activity in your body, did you?) Some of the main electrolytes in our bodies, besides potassium, are sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Your kidneys help regulate the amount of electrolytes in the body. Potassium’s job is to help nerve conduction, help regulate your heartbeat, and help your muscles contract. It also works to maintain proper fluid balance between your cells and body fluids. The body is a fine-tuned machine in that, as long as it’s healthy and functioning properly, things will work as they should. This means that, as long as your kidneys are working up to par, they’ll regulate the amount of potassium that your body needs. However, people with diabetes who have kidney disease need to be especially careful of their potassium intake, as levels can get too high in the body when the kidneys don’t work as they should. Too much potassium is just as dangerous as too little. Your physician can measure the amount of potassium in your blood with a simple blood test. A normal, or “safe” level of potassium is between 3.7 and 5.2 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Levels below or above this range are a cause for concer Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Serious Complication

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: A Serious Complication

A balanced body chemistry is crucial for a healthy human body. A sudden drop in pH can cause significant damage to organ systems and even death. This lesson takes a closer look at a condition in which the pH of the body is severely compromised called diabetic ketoacidosis. Definition Diabetic ketoacidosis, sometimes abbreviated as DKA, is a condition in which a high amount of acid in the body is caused by a high concentration of ketone bodies. That definition might sound complicated, but it's really not. Acidosis itself is the state of too many hydrogen ions, and therefore too much acid, in the blood. A pH in the blood leaving the heart of 7.35 or less indicates acidosis. Ketones are the biochemicals produced when fat is broken down and used for energy. While a healthy body makes a very low level of ketones and is able to use them for energy, when ketone levels become too high, they make the body's fluids very acidic. Let's talk about the three Ws of ketoacidosis: who, when, and why. Type one diabetics are the group at the greatest risk for ketoacidosis, although the condition can occur in other groups of people, such as alcoholics. Ketoacidosis usually occurs in type one diabetics either before diagnosis or when they are subjected to a metabolic stress, such as a severe infection. Although it is possible for type two diabetics to develop ketoacidosis, it doesn't happen as frequently. To understand why diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, let's quickly review what causes diabetes. Diabetics suffer from a lack of insulin, the protein hormone responsible for enabling glucose to get into cells. This inability to get glucose into cells means that the body is forced to turn elsewhere to get energy, and that source is fat. As anyone who exercises or eats a low-calorie diet knows, fa Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology University of Khartoum, Sudan Introduction DKA is a serious acute complications of Diabetes Mellitus. It carries significant risk of death and/or morbidity especially with delayed treatment. The prognosis of DKA is worse in the extremes of age, with a mortality rates of 5-10%. With the new advances of therapy, DKA mortality decreases to > 2%. Before discovery and use of Insulin (1922) the mortality was 100%. Epidemiology DKA is reported in 2-5% of known type 1 diabetic patients in industrialized countries, while it occurs in 35-40% of such patients in Africa. DKA at the time of first diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is reported in only 2-3% in western Europe, but is seen in 95% of diabetic children in Sudan. Similar results were reported from other African countries . Consequences The latter observation is annoying because it implies the following: The late diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in many developing countries particularly in Africa. The late presentation of DKA, which is associated with risk of morbidity & mortality Death of young children with DKA undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed as malaria or meningitis. Pathophysiology Secondary to insulin deficiency, and the action of counter-regulatory hormones, blood glucose increases leading to hyperglycemia and glucosuria. Glucosuria causes an osmotic diuresis, leading to water & Na loss. In the absence of insulin activity the body fails to utilize glucose as fuel and uses fats instead. This leads to ketosis. Pathophysiology/2 The excess of ketone bodies will cause metabolic acidosis, the later is also aggravated by Lactic acidosis caused by dehydration & poor tissue perfusion. Vomiting due to an ileus, plus increased insensible water losses due to tachypnea will worsen the state of dehydr Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Practice Essentials Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes that mainly occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes, but it is not uncommon in some patients with type 2 diabetes. This condition is a complex disordered metabolic state characterized by hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, and ketonuria. Signs and symptoms The most common early symptoms of DKA are the insidious increase in polydipsia and polyuria. The following are other signs and symptoms of DKA: Malaise, generalized weakness, and fatigability Nausea and vomiting; may be associated with diffuse abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and anorexia Rapid weight loss in patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes History of failure to comply with insulin therapy or missed insulin injections due to vomiting or psychological reasons or history of mechanical failure of insulin infusion pump Altered consciousness (eg, mild disorientation, confusion); frank coma is uncommon but may occur when the condition is neglected or with severe dehydration/acidosis Signs and symptoms of DKA associated with possible intercurrent infection are as follows: See Clinical Presentation for more detail. Diagnosis On examination, general findings of DKA may include the following: Characteristic acetone (ketotic) breath odor In addition, evaluate patients for signs of possible intercurrent illnesses such as MI, UTI, pneumonia, and perinephric abscess. Search for signs of infection is mandatory in all cases. Testing Initial and repeat laboratory studies for patients with DKA include the following: Serum electrolyte levels (eg, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus) Serum or capillary beta-hydroxybutyrate levels Urine and blood cultures if intercurrent infection is suspected ECG Continue reading >>

Severe Hyperkalaemia In Association With Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Patient Presenting With Severe Generalized Muscle Weakness

Severe Hyperkalaemia In Association With Diabetic Ketoacidosis In A Patient Presenting With Severe Generalized Muscle Weakness

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an acute, life‐threatening metabolic complication of diabetes mellitus. Hyperglycaemia, ketosis (ketonaemia or ketonuria) and acidosis are the cardinal features of DKA [1]. Other features that indicate the severity of DKA include volume depletion, acidosis and concurrent electrolyte disturbances, especially abnormalities of potassium homeostasis [1,2]. We describe a type 2 diabetic patient presenting with severe generalized muscle weakness and electrocardiographic evidence of severe hyperkalaemia in association with DKA and discuss the related pathophysiology. A 65‐year‐old male was admitted because of impaired mental status. He was a known insulin‐treated diabetic on quinapril (20 mg once daily) and was taking oral ampicillin 500 mg/day because of dysuria which had started 5 days prior to admission. He was disoriented in place and time with severe generalized muscle weakness; he was apyrexial (temperature 36.4°C), tachycardic (120 beats/min) and tachypneic (25 respirations/min) with cold extremities (supine blood pressure was 100/60 mmHg). An electrocardiogram (ECG) showed absent P waves, widening of QRS (‘sine wave’ in leads I, II, V5 and V6), depression of ST segments and tall peaked symmetrical T waves in leads V3–V6 (Figure 1). Blood glucose was 485 mg/dl, plasma creatinine 5.1 mg/dl (reference range (r.r.) 0.6–1.2 mg/dl, measured by the Jaffe method), urea 270 mg/dl (r.r. 11–54 mg/dl), albumin 4.2 g/dl (r.r. 3.4–4.7 g/dl), sodium 136 mmol/l (r.r. 135–145 mmol/l), chloride 102 mmol/l (r.r. 98–107 mmol/l), potassium 8.3 mmol/l (r.r. 3.5–5.4 mmol/l), phosphorus 1.6 mmol/l (r.r. 0.8–1.45 mmol/l) and magnesium 0.62 mmol/l (r.r. 0.75–1.25 mmol/l). A complete blood count revealed leukocytosis (12 090/µl with Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemic Crises In Diabetes

Hyperglycemic Crises In Diabetes

Ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemia are the two most serious acute metabolic complications of diabetes, even if managed properly. These disorders can occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The mortality rate in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is <5% in experienced centers, whereas the mortality rate of patients with hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) still remains high at ∼15%. The prognosis of both conditions is substantially worsened at the extremes of age and in the presence of coma and hypotension (1–10). This position statement will outline precipitating factors and recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of DKA and HHS. It is based on a previous technical review (11), which should be consulted for further information. PATHOGENESIS Although the pathogenesis of DKA is better understood than that of HHS, the basic underlying mechanism for both disorders is a reduction in the net effective action of circulating insulin coupled with a concomitant elevation of counterregulatory hormones, such as glucagon, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone. These hormonal alterations in DKA and HHS lead to increased hepatic and renal glucose production and impaired glucose utilization in peripheral tissues, which result in hyperglycemia and parallel changes in osmolality of the extracellular space (12,13). The combination of insulin deficiency and increased counterregulatory hormones in DKA also leads to the release of free fatty acids into the circulation from adipose tissue (lipolysis) and to unrestrained hepatic fatty acid oxidation to ketone bodies (β-hydroxybutyrate [β-OHB] and acetoacetate), with resulting ketonemia and metabolic acidosis. On the other hand, HHS may be caused by plasma insulin concentrations that are in Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

What Is It? Diabetic ketoacidosis is a potentially fatal complication of diabetes that occurs when you have much less insulin than your body needs. This problem causes the blood to become acidic and the body to become dangerously dehydrated. Diabetic ketoacidosis can occur when diabetes is not treated adequately, or it can occur during times of serious sickness. To understand this illness, you need to understand the way your body powers itself with sugar and other fuels. Foods we eat are broken down by the body, and much of what we eat becomes glucose (a type of sugar), which enters the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose to pass from the bloodstream into body cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin normally is made by the pancreas, but people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes) don't produce enough insulin and must inject it daily. Your body needs a constant source of energy. When you have plenty of insulin, your body cells can get all the energy they need from glucose. If you don't have enough insulin in your blood, your liver is programmed to manufacture emergency fuels. These fuels, made from fat, are called ketones (or keto acids). In a pinch, ketones can give you energy. However, if your body stays dependent on ketones for energy for too long, you soon will become ill. Ketones are acidic chemicals that are toxic at high concentrations. In diabetic ketoacidosis, ketones build up in the blood, seriously altering the normal chemistry of the blood and interfering with the function of multiple organs. They make the blood acidic, which causes vomiting and abdominal pain. If the acid level of the blood becomes extreme, ketoacidosis can cause falling blood pressure, coma and death. Ketoacidosis is always accompanied by dehydration, which is caused by high Continue reading >>

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Understanding And Treating Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious metabolic disorder that can occur in animals with diabetes mellitus (DM).1,2 Veterinary technicians play an integral role in managing and treating patients with this life-threatening condition. In addition to recognizing the clinical signs of this disorder and evaluating the patient's response to therapy, technicians should understand how this disorder occurs. DM is caused by a relative or absolute lack of insulin production by the pancreatic b-cells or by inactivity or loss of insulin receptors, which are usually found on membranes of skeletal muscle, fat, and liver cells.1,3 In dogs and cats, DM is classified as either insulin-dependent (the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin) or non-insulin-dependent (the body produces insulin, but the tissues in the body are resistant to the insulin).4 Most dogs and cats that develop DKA have an insulin deficiency. Insulin has many functions, including the enhancement of glucose uptake by the cells for energy.1 Without insulin, the cells cannot access glucose, thereby causing them to undergo starvation.2 The unused glucose remains in the circulation, resulting in hyperglycemia. To provide cells with an alternative energy source, the body breaks down adipocytes, releasing free fatty acids (FFAs) into the bloodstream. The liver subsequently converts FFAs to triglycerides and ketone bodies. These ketone bodies (i.e., acetone, acetoacetic acid, b-hydroxybutyric acid) can be used as energy by the tissues when there is a lack of glucose or nutritional intake.1,2 The breakdown of fat, combined with the body's inability to use glucose, causes many pets with diabetes to present with weight loss, despite having a ravenous appetite. If diabetes is undiagnosed or uncontrolled, a series of metab Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: How Does It All Work?

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: How Does It All Work?

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of the ability to use glucose as an energy source. Usually this is due to a lack of insulin. Insulin is used to uptake glucose into the cells to be used for energy. If there is no insulin or the cells are resistant to insulin, the blood sugar levels increase to dangerous levels for the patient. It seems counter intuitive that the patient wouldn't have energy with such high levels of glucose, but this glucose is essentially unusable without insulin. Because your body needs energy to survive, it starts turning to alternative fuel sources (fat). Fat cells start breaking down and, as a result, release ketones (which are acidic) into the bloodstream. Hence the name: diabetic ketoacidosis. Causes The most common causes of DKA are not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection, becoming dehydrated, or a combination of these issues. It seems like it occurs mainly in patients with type one diabetes. Symptoms Some of the symptoms that people experience with DKA include the following: Excessive thirst and urination (more water is pulled into the urine as a result of high ketone loss in the urine) Lethargy Breathing very quickly (patients have a very high level of acids in their bloodstream and they try to "blow" off carbon dioxide by breathing quickly) A fruity odor on their breath (ketones have a fruity smell) Nausea and vomiting (the body tries to get rid of acids any way it can-even stomach acid!) Confusion Blurred vision Decreased perspiration (in line with the excessive urination...patients are very dehydrated) As more ketones accumulate in the blood and are passed through the urine, more sodium and potassium electrolytes are removed with them. Watch for electrolyte imbalances! Treatment Severe Continue reading >>

Hyperkalemia (high Blood Potassium)

Hyperkalemia (high Blood Potassium)

How does hyperkalemia affect the body? Potassium is critical for the normal functioning of the muscles, heart, and nerves. It plays an important role in controlling activity of smooth muscle (such as the muscle found in the digestive tract) and skeletal muscle (muscles of the extremities and torso), as well as the muscles of the heart. It is also important for normal transmission of electrical signals throughout the nervous system within the body. Normal blood levels of potassium are critical for maintaining normal heart electrical rhythm. Both low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia) and high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia) can lead to abnormal heart rhythms. The most important clinical effect of hyperkalemia is related to electrical rhythm of the heart. While mild hyperkalemia probably has a limited effect on the heart, moderate hyperkalemia can produce EKG changes (EKG is a reading of theelectrical activity of the heart muscles), and severe hyperkalemia can cause suppression of electrical activity of the heart and can cause the heart to stop beating. Another important effect of hyperkalemia is interference with functioning of the skeletal muscles. Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis is a rare inherited disorder in which patients can develop sudden onset of hyperkalemia which in turn causes muscle paralysis. The reason for the muscle paralysis is not clearly understood, but it is probably due to hyperkalemia suppressing the electrical activity of the muscle. Common electrolytes that are measured by doctors with blood testing include sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. The functions and normal range values for these electrolytes are described below. Hypokalemia, or decreased potassium, can arise due to kidney diseases; excessive losses due to heavy sweating Continue reading >>

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Electrolyte Imbalance In Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If you have diabetes, it's important to be familiar with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when lack of insulin and high blood sugar lead to potentially life-threatening chemical imbalances. The good news is DKA is largely preventable. Although DKA is more common with type 1 diabetes, it can also occur with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar causes excessive urination and spillage of sugar into the urine. This leads to loss of body water and dehydration as well as loss of important electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. The level of another electrolyte, bicarbonate, also falls as the body tries to compensate for excessively acidic blood. Video of the Day Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it is used for energy production. When insulin is lacking, cells must harness alternative energy by breaking down fat. Byproducts of this alternative process are called ketones. High concentrations of ketones acidify the blood, hence the term "ketoacidosis." Acidosis causes unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting and rapid breathing. Bicarbonate is an electrolyte that normally counteracts blood acidity. In DKA, the bicarbonate level falls as ketone production increases and acidosis progresses. Treatment of DKA includes prompt insulin supplementation to lower blood sugar, which leads to gradual restoration of the bicarbonate level. Potassium may be low in DKA because this electrolyte is lost due to excessive urination or vomiting. When insulin is used to treat DKA, it can further lower the blood potassium by pushing it into cells. Symptoms associated with low potassium include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle cramps and an irregular heart rhythm. Severely low potassium can lead to life-threatening heart rhythm abnorm Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body's cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the energy our cells need to function. People with diabetes can't get glucose into their cells, so their bodies look for alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, and by the time DKA occurs, blood glucose levels are often greater than 22 mmol/L (400 mg/dL) while insulin levels are very low. Since glucose isn't available for cells to use, fat from fat cells is broken down for energy instead, releasing ketones. Ketones accumulate in the blood, causing it to become more acidic. As a result, many of the enzymes that control the body's metabolic processes aren't able Continue reading >>

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