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An electrolyte panel is a blood test
that measures the levels of
electrolytes and carbon dioxide in your blood.
Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that are found in the
body. They keep your body's fluids in balance and help keep your body working
normally, including your heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and brain
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is also measured in this test. CO2
is a waste product made when the body breaks down food for energy (metabolism). It
takes the form of bicarbonate in the blood, so this part of the test is
sometimes called a bicarbonate test. Bicarbonate helps your blood stay at the
Your doctor may order an electrolyte
panel as part of a regular health examination. Your doctor may use this test to
check on or diagnose a medical condition. Your doctor can also use an
electrolyte panel to see if any medicines that you take have changed your
An electrolyte panel measures the blood levels
of carbon dioxide, chloride, potassium, and sodium.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Current as of:
June 17, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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