What is the anion gap (AG) in metabolic acidosis?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Christie P Thomas, MBBS, FRCP, FASN, FAHA; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Plasma, like any other body fluid compartment, is neutral; total anions match total cations. The major plasma cation is Na+, and major plasma anions are Cl- and HCO3-. Extracellular anions present in lower concentrations include phosphate, sulfate, and some organic anions, while other cations present include K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+. The anion gap (AG) is the difference between the concentration of the major measured cation Na+ and the major measured anions Cl- and HCO3-.


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