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Alternative Names Return to topChloride - blood
Definition Return to top
Chloride is a negatively charged molecule known as an electrolyte. It works with other electrolytes, such as potassium, salt (sodium), and carbon dioxide (CO2), to help keep the proper balance of body fluids and maintain the body's acid-base balance.
The serum chloride test measures the amount of chloride in the fluid portion of the blood.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
Blood is drawn from a vein or capillary. A laboratory machine spins the blood to separate the cells from the serum, and the level of chloride in the serum is measured.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Your doctor may tell you to temporarily stop taking certain drugs that can affect test results.
Drugs that may increase serum chloride measurements include:
Drugs that may lower serum chloride measurements include:
Never stop taking medication without first talking to your doctor.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of a disturbance in your body's fluid level or acid-base balance.
This test is usually ordered along with other blood tests such as a metabolic panel (CHEM-7 or CHEM-20).
Normal Results Return to top
A typical normal range is 96 - 106 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
A greater-than-normal level of chloride is called hyperchloremia. It may be due to:
A lower-than-normal level of chloride is called hypochloremia. It may be due to:
This test may also be done to help rule out or diagnose:
References Return to top
Fukagawa M, Kurokawa K, Papadakis MA. Fluid & electrolyte disorders. In: McPhee SJ, Papadakis MA, Tierney LM, Jr. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2007. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2007.Update Date: 4/26/2007 Updated by: Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology, Department of Biology, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.