Does this test have other names?
Cl, serum chloride test
What is this test?
This test will find out how much chloride is in your blood and help your healthcare
provider figure out if you may have certain kidney problems.
Chloride is one of the ingredients in table salt. But it's also an important mineral
in your body. It helps move fluids in and out of your blood cells. When you have an
imbalance of chloride, you may start to feel ill. You can lose chloride if you've
been vomiting or have diarrhea. Chloride can also build up if you have a certain type
Why do I need this test?
If you lose too much chloride, you may have nausea, feel weak, or become seriously
This test may help your healthcare provider find out whether your kidneys are working
properly or if you have another problem with your health.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may order a test to measure the other electrolytes in your
blood, to check for an acid-base imbalance. The electrolytes test will also measure
other minerals in your blood, including sodium and potassium.
Your healthcare provider may also test your urine for chloride levels and your blood
for glucose, or blood sugar, levels. A basic urinalysis, a simple test that may help
detect problems with your kidneys or urinary tract, may also be done. Two tests to
see how well your kidneys are working may also be done. These two tests are for creatinine
level and blood urea nitrogen, or BUN, level.
What do my test results mean?
Your healthcare provider will go over your test results with you. Normal ranges may
vary according to your age. Here are the normal ranges:
For adults: 98 to 106 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L)
For children: 90 to 110 mEq/L
For newborn babies: 96 to 106 mEq/L
For premature babies: 95 to 110 mEq/L
How is the test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
You may also have to give a urine sample for testing.
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
The amount of fluid you drink or lose may affect your test results. If you've been
vomiting or have lost fluids because of diarrhea, you may have lower levels of chloride.
Some may cause water loss and/or bloating and affect the chloride you have in your
How do I get ready for this test?
If your healthcare provider orders a chloride test of your urine, don't drink alcohol
for at least a day before the test. Also, be sure your doctor knows about all medicines,
herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't
need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.