Glucose metabolism is altered after trauma and those factors that affect glucose metabolism often affect chromium (Cr) metabolism and excretion. To ascertain whether urinary Cr excretion is affected by the elevated serum glucose and other factors associated with trauma, the serum glucose and urinary Cr and Creatinine (Cre) excretion of seven severely traumatized patients were determined. The Cr concentration of intravenous (IV) fluids administered was determined and approximate Cr intake calculated. For all patients, urinary Cr concentration was high in the initial sample collected within 24 h of admission (10.3 ± 2.5 ng/mL, mean ± SEM) and decreased significantly (P < 0.05) by 42 h (2.0 ±0.6 ng/mL). The mean urinary Cr concentration 42 h following admission was 10 times greater than the urinary Cr concentration of normal, healthy subjects (0.2 ± 0.02 ng/mL). There was no significant change in urinary Cre concentration within 42 h of admission, therefore the ratio of urinary Cr to Cre (ng Cr:mg Cre) also decreased. Serum glucose concentration was elevated at admission (170 ± 18 mg/dL, mean ± SD) and decreased to 145 ± 10 mg/dL by 48 h post-admission. The intravenous fluids, dextrose and NaCl, were the lowest in Cr of the samples tested, range 0.02 to 0.20 ng/mL; lactated Ringer's solution, with or without dextrose, contained 10-20 times more Cr and plasma protein fraction contained approximately 32 ng/mL. The mean calculated Cr intake for the first 24 h postadmission was 37.1 µg/d, significantly greater (P < 0.01) than intake from 24 to 48 h (0.12 µg/d) and 48-72 h (1.63 µg/d). The IV intake of Cr varied for trauma patients depending on fluids required during treatment, but for all patients the relatively high IV Cr intake was rapidly excreted in the urine. These data demonstrate that urinary Cr concentration is elevated several-fold within 24 h of trauma and that Cr contents of intravenous fluids administered in the days immediately following injury vary dramatically. The effects of trauma alone on Cr excretion are difficult to assess because of the variable intake of Cr from IV fluids.