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Definition:

An ion is an atom or group of atoms that has an electric charge. Ions with a positive charge are called cations. Ions with a negative charge are called anions.

Many normal substances exist in the body as ions. Common examples include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and bicarbonate. (See: Electrolytes )

Ions can be created using radiation such as x-rays. Ionizing radiation is often used for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, since the ions that are produced can be used to scan for or treat some diseases.

Related topics:



Alternative Names:

Cations; Anions



Information:




Review Date: 8/9/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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