Minding the Gap: Utility of the Anion Gap in the Differential Diagnosis of Metabolic Acidosis

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The anion gap, in conjunction with other laboratory results, can be a useful clue in the differential diagnosis of metabolic acidosis. There are three primary causes of metabolic acidosis: loss of base, decreased renal excretion of acid, and increased acid production. Depending on the cause of metabolic acidosis, the anion gap may be elevated or normal.

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