Chloride - plasma or serum

Last updated: Thursday, 08, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.

Method

Spectrophotometry, coulimetry or ISE.

Reference Interval

95-110 mmol/L.

Application

To assess the possible cause of acid-base disturbances, including calculation of the anion gap.

Interpretation

Hyponatraemia and metabolic alkalosis are associated with hypochloraemia.

Hypernatraemia and metabolic acidosis, due to renal tubular acidosis or bicarbonate loss, are associated with hyperchloraemia.

 An increased anion gap indicates accumulation of an anion other than chloride (eg, lactate, hydroxybutyrate); this usually occurs with metabolic acidosis.

Reference

Madias NE et al. N Engl J Med 1979; 300(25): 1421-1423.