Blood Chloride (Cl) Levels
|Why is this test done?||This test is usually done to assess the body's water (hydration level), acid and base equilibrium.|
|How to prepare:||
|Associated Tests:||Other electrolytes are usually measured are the same time, such as sodium, potassium, as part of a complete electrolyte profile.|
Chlorine carries a negative charge (anion). It is found in blood and the body's cells. In fact, it is the most abundant anion found in the body. Blood chlorine levels are closely regulated through various mechanisms. Chlorine plays several roles in the body. It is strongly linked with blood sodium, which carries a positive charge. It plays an important role in blood pressure in blood vessels and cells. It is involved in the acid-base equilibrium.
What does an abnormal test result mean?
If the result is too high
High chloride levels are found in dehydrated patients or those with an acid-base imbalance in the blood.
If the result is too low
Kidney problems, such as kidney impairment, can result in lower values. Loss of chloride due to vomiting will also result in lower levels. Acid-base imbalance and heart failure can both translate into lower levels.
Factors that can affect the result of the test
Intravenous fluid replacement can increase chloride levels. Some drugs, such as cholestyramine and phenylbutazone, can also increase chloride levels.
Taking certain drugs, such as thiazide diuretics, ethacrynic acid, furosemide or prolonged IV dextrose infusion, can lower blood chloride levels.
What you need to know before the test
Before going for blood tests, a procedure or other exam, it is best to always bring a list of all the drugs you take (prescription, OTC and natural health products). Unless told otherwise, you should take your medication as usual on the day of the test. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist for more information.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.