Saturday, November 21, 2009

Clinical Electrolytes - Cations and Anions

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.