JOURNAL ARTICLE

Blood lactate levels in sepsis: in 8 questions

Jean-Louis Vincent, Jan Bakker
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2021 April 14
33852499

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Blood lactate concentrations are frequently measured in critically ill patients and have important prognostic value. Here, we review some key questions related to their clinical use in sepsis.

RECENT FINDINGS: Despite the metabolic hurdles, measuring lactate concentrations remains very informative in clinical practice. Although blood lactate levels change too slowly to represent the only guide to resuscitation, serial lactate levels can help to define the patient's trajectory and encourage a review of the therapeutic strategy if they remain stable or increase over time.

SUMMARY: Lactate concentrations respond too slowly to be used to guide acute changes in therapy, but can help evaluate overall response. Hyperlactatemia should not be considered as a problem in itself, but as a warning of altered cell function.

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