The Value of Blood Lactate Monitoring in Clinical Practice

  • J. L. Vincent
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 12)


Acute circulatory failure most commonly occurs when oxygen supply to the cells is acutely reduced. It is however increasingly recognized that it can occur when oxygen supply is normal or even high. In conditions associated with sepsis, trauma, extended surgery or other inflammatory states, the oxygen demand can be elevated above the oxygen supply. An alteration of the oxygen extraction capabilities by the tissues can limit the increase in oxygen consumption which is required in these conditions. Thus, the interpretation of measurements of mixed venous PO2 or SO2 can have serious limitations in these complex circumstances. Measurements of blood lactate can help to recognize the presence of tissue hypoxia associated with acute circulatory failure and also to monitor the effects of therapy.


Blood Lactate Lactic Acidosis Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Blood Lactate Level Stagnant Hypoxia 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • J. L. Vincent

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