Blood test

Normal chloride level in the blood

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Normal chloride level in the blood

What is the normal level of chloride in the blood?

Adults: 97 - 106 mEq/L (97 - 106 mmol/L)
Children 97 - 106 mEq/L (97 - 106 mmol/L)
Babies from 0 to 30 days old: 98 - 113 mEq/L (98 - 113 mmol/L)
Term newborns: 96 - 106 mEq/L (96 - 106 mmol/L)
Preterm newborns: 95 - 110 mEq/L (95 - 110 mmol/L)

In the International System of Units (SI), chloride in the blood is measured in mmol/L. The numeric values are the same in mEq/L or in mmol/L.

Why normal levels can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal ranges for chloride in the blood. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels, according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

Besides, chloride values in the blood after meals are a bit lower than normal.

What is the role of chloride in the body?

Chloride is an electrolyte negatively charged. It is the major anion found in the fluid outside of cells (an anion is a negatively charged ion). Chloride, along with sodium, is in charge of maintaining the electrical neutrality of the body.

The main roles of chloride in the body are:

  • Keep the fluid balance of the body.
  • Along with sodium, regulate osmotic pressure.
  • Balance cations/anions to maintain the electrical neutrality of the extracellular fluid.
  • Maintain the acid-base (pH) balance in the body.

Chloride ions are present in the food and they are absorbed in the gut. The kidney filters chloride and the excess of chloride is excreted into the urine.

What is the chloride blood test used for?

Chloride blood test is increasingly performed in a basic blood test. It is used to know the state of hydration and to give an overall perspective of the functional status of some organs such as the kidneys.

The chloride blood test is usually made along with other electrolyte blood tests like sodium, potassium or bicarbonate.

The increase or decrease of chloride levels in the blood usually follows the increase or decrease of sodium in the blood. For that reason is advisable to study also the sodium levels in the blood and the blood pH level for a better diagnosis.

Chloride can also be measured in the urine. It is usually asked to collect urine for 24 hours to study the amount of chloride present in the urine for a long period.

A value of chloride higher than normal (hyperchloremia) may be due to:

  • Too much chloride administration, for example, in case of excessive chloride intravenous infusion.
  • Excessive water loss (diabetes insipidus or kidney disorders).
  • Excessive renal reabsorption of chloride (renal tubular acidosis, kidney failure, diuretics drugs such as acetazolamide).

A value of chloride lower than normal (hypochloremia) may be due to:

  • Low chloride intake (low-salt diet).
  • Excessive chloride loss (vomiting, diarrhea or excessive sweating).
  • Hormonal disorders (Addison’s disease, SIADH, etc.).
  • Medication (diuretics, laxatives or bicarbonate).
  • Other causes (respiratory acidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, etc.).

If chloride in the blood is lower than normal range it may appear metabolic alkalosis. On the contrary, if chloride in the blood is higher than normal range it may appear metabolic acidosis.

Where can I find more information about chloride level in the blood?

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Which values are considered a normal chloride level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be normal values:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in mEq/L (mmol/L). They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Chloride
Normality
97 mEq/L98 mEq/L99 mEq/L100 mEq/L101 mEq/L102 mEq/L103 mEq/L104 mEq/L
105 mEq/L106 mEq/L      
Last update: 28/10/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 500.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 662. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag 121.
  • Hyperchloremia – Why and how, Glenn T. Nagami Disponible en: http://scielo.isciii.es

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