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Training Categorized: Lab Values

What is blood lactate? And what can altered levels be an indication of?

Lactate is a product of anaerobic metabolism - which is the result of cell metabolism in the absence of sufficient oxygen. Typically, lactate is metabolized by the liver to prevent toxic accumulation in the bloodstream (1). However, in the absence of adequate tissue perfusion, these levels can accumulate and have devastating effects on the body. “Normal lactate levels are less than 1.0 mmol/L in both arterial and venous blood[…] [and] one study showed a level above 4.0mmol/L was associated with a 27% mortality rate compared with 7% for patients with a lactate of 2.5-4.0 mmol/L2”...