Electrolytes are amphoteric substances, meaning they could be positively or negatively charged. The positively charged ions are called cations, and the negatively charged -anions.
Examples given here are those electrolytes which are commonly tested in the clinical laboratory.
Positively charged ions are called CATIONS :
1. Potassium - intracellular
2. Magnesium - intracellular
3. Calcium - extracellular
4. Sodium - extracellular
Negatively charged ions are called ANIONS :
1. Chloride - extracellular
2. bicarbonate - extracellular
3. inorganic phosphorus - intracellular
The determination of these electrolytes are very significant in the assessment of several diseases like diabetic ketoacidosis, water-electrolyte status , and many more.