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August 1992

Gaps in the Anion Gap

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School and Veterans Affairs Lakeside Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(8):1625-1629. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400200063011

Objective.—  To review limitations of the use of serum anion gap in clinical practice.

Data Sources.—  Original reports and reviews.

Study Selection.—  Sources containing the most recent pertinent information.

Data Synthesis.—  Theoretical and practical limitations beset the use of serum anion gap. Awareness of these limitations reduces but does not eliminate wrong diagnoses based on the anion gaps.

Conclusions.—  Serum anion gap has a limited value in the differential diagnosis of acid-base disorders and can be misleading.(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:1625-1629)

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