Here's what Anion Gap is:
ANION GAP (Sodium + Potassium - CO2 - Chloride)
The anion gap is used to measure the concentration of cations (sodium and potassium) and the anions (chloride and CO2) in the extracellular fluid of the blood.
There are numerous clinical implications that can be gathered from the Anion Gap.
An increased measurement is associated with metabolic acidosis due to the overproduction of acids (a state of alkalinity is in effect).
Decreased levels may indicate metabolic alkalosis due to the overproduction of alkaloids (a state of acidosis is in effect).
Increased serum anion gap reflects the presence of unmeasured anions, as in uremia (phosphate, sulfate), diabetic ketoacidosis (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate), shock, exercise-induced physiologic anaerobic glycolysis, fructose and phenformin administration (lactate), and poisoning by methanol (formate), ethylene glycol (oxalate), paraldehyde, and salicylates.
Therapy with diuretics, penicillin, and carbenicillin may also elevate the anion gap.
Decreased serum anion gap is seen in dilutional states and hyperviscosity syndromes associated with paraproteinemias. Because bromide is not distinguished from chloride in some methodologies, bromide intoxication may appear to produce a decreased anion gap.
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