Electrolytes (cont.)

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Chloride

Chloride is the major anion (negatively charged ion) found in the fluid outside of cells and in the blood. An anion is the negatively charged part of certain substances such as table salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) when dissolved in liquid. Sea water has almost the same concentration of chloride ion as human body fluids. Chloride also plays a role in helping the body maintain a normal balance of fluids.

The balance of chloride ion (Cl-) is closely regulated by the body. Significant increases or decreases in chloride can have deleterious or even fatal consequences:

  • Increased chloride (hyperchloremia): Elevations in chloride may be seen in diarrhea, certain kidney diseases, and sometimes in overactivity of the parathyroid glands.
  • Decreased chloride (hypochloremia): Chloride is normally lost in the urine, sweat, and stomach secretions. Excessive loss can occur from heavy sweating, vomiting, and adrenal gland and kidney disease.

The normal serum range for chloride is 98 - 108 mmol/L.

Bicarbonate

The bicarbonate ion acts as a buffer to maintain the normal levels of acidity (pH) in blood and other fluids in the body. Bicarbonate levels are measured to monitor the acidity of the blood and body fluids. The acidity is affected by foods or medications that we ingest and the function of the kidneys and lungs. The chemical notation for bicarbonate on most lab reports is HCO3- or represented as the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The normal serum range for bicarbonate is 22-30 mmol/L.

The bicarbonate test is usually performed along with tests for other blood electrolytes. Disruptions in the normal bicarbonate level may be due to diseases that interfere with respiratory function, kidney diseases, metabolic conditions, or other causes.

Medically reviewed by Rambod Rouhbakhsh, MD, MBA, FAAFP American Board of Family Medicine

REFERENCE:

"Maintenance and replacement fluid therapy in adults"
uptodate.com


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/29/2014

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