Conversion Factors and Anthropometrics
SI (le Systéme International d’Unités) units are used in many countries to express clinical laboratory and serum drug concentration data.* Instead of using units of mass (eg, micrograms), the SI system uses moles (mol) to represent the amount of a substance. A molar solution contains 1 mole (the molecular weight of the substance in grams) of the solute in 1 L of solution. The following formula is used to convert units of mass to moles (mcg/mL to μmol/L or, by substitution of terms, mg/mL to mmol/L or ng/mL to nmol/L).
An equivalent weight of a substance is the weight that will combine with or replace 1 g of hydrogen; a milliequivalent is 1/1000 of an equivalent weight.
Milliequivalents per Liter
Approximate Milliequivalents: Weight Conversions for Selected Ions
|Salt ||mEq/gSalt ||mg Salt/mEq |
|Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) ||20.0 ||50.0 |
|Calcium chloride (CaCl2 · 2H2O) ||13.6 ||73.5 |
|Calcium gluceptate (Ca[C7H13O8]2) ||4.1 ||245.2 |
|Calcium gluconate (Ca[C6H11O7]2 · H2O) ||4.5 ||224.1 |
|Calcium lactate (Ca[C3H5O3]2 · 5H2O) ||6.5 ||154.1 |
|Magnesium gluconate (Mg[C6H11O7]2 · H2O) ||4.6 ||216.3 |
|Magnesium oxide (MgO) ||49.6 ||20.2 |
|Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) ||16.6 ||60.2 |
|Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4 · 7H2O) ||8.1 ||123.2 |
|Potassium acetate (K[C2H3O2]) ||10.2 ||98.1 |
|Potassium chloride (KCl) ||13.4 ||74.6 |
|Potassium citrate (K3[C6H5O7]· H2O) ||9.2 ||108.1 |
|Potassium iodide (KI) ||6.0 ||166.0 |
|Sodium acetate (Na[C2H3O2]) ||12.2 ||82.0 |
|Sodium acetate (Na[C2H3O2] · 3H2O) ||7.3 ||136.1 |
|Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ||11.9 ||84.0 |
|Sodium chloride (NaCl) ||17.1 ||58.4 |
|Sodium citrate (Na3[C6H5O7] · 2H2O) ||10.2 ||98.0 |
|Sodium iodide (NaI) ||6.7 ||149.9 |
|Sodium lactate (Na[C3H5O3]) ||8.9 ||112.1 |
|Zinc sulfate (ZnSO4 · 7H2O) ||7.0 ||143.8 |
Valences and Atomic/Molecular Weights of Selected Ions
|Substance ||Electrolyte ||Valence ||Atomic/Molecular Weight |
|Calcium ||Ca2+ ||2 ||40.1 |
|Chloride ||Cl– ||1 ||35.5 |
|Magnesium ||Mg2+ ||2 ||24.3 |
|Phosphate ||HPO42–(80%) ||1.8 ||96.0a |
|(pH = 7.4) ||H2PO4–(20%) || ||97.0 |
|Potassium ||K+ ||1 ||39.1 |
|Sodium ||Na+ ||1 ||23.0 |
|Sulfate ||SO–4 ||2 ||96.0a |
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