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Chloride - urine
Alternative namesUrinary chloride
DefinitionThe chloride urine test measures the amount of chloride in urine.
How the test is performedA spot urinary chloride test or a 24-hour urine chloride sample may be needed.
Your health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. A 24-hour urine test is performed as follows:
In infants, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For males, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For females, the bag is placed over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag. This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag, causing the specimen to be absorbed by the diaper. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. The urine is drained into the container for transport to the laboratory.
How to prepare for the testNo special preparation is necessary for this test, but if the collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performed
Cl- is the major extracellular negative ion in the body. Its main purpose is to maintain electrical neutrality, mostly as a counter-ion to sodium. It often accompanies sodium losses and excesses. It also affects acid-base balance. That is, as CO2 (carbon dioxide) increases, bicarbonate moves from inside the cells to the outside. Then, to maintain electrical neutrality, more chloride tends to enter cells.
Because of its relationship with other electrolytes, urinary chloride results can be used to help assess volume status, salt intake, causes of hypokalemia, and to aid in the diagnosis of renal tubular acidosis.
Normal ValuesThe normal range is 20 to 250 mEq/day. This range is highly dependent on salt intake and the state of the individual's hydration. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories.
Note: mEq/day = milliequivalents per day
What abnormal results mean
Increased urine chloride excretion may be caused by:
What the risks areThere are no risks.
Special considerationsThere are certain drugs that may interfere with this test. Drugs that may decrease urinary chloride excretion include acetazolamide and NSAIDs. Drugs that may increase urinary chloride excretion include: corticosteroids, loop diuretics, and thiazide diuretics.
Update Date: 2/11/2004Irfan A. Agha, M.D., Department of Medicine, Renal Division, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT