Which lactate levels are associated with increased mortality in sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Lactate levels higher than 2.5 mmol/L are associated with an increase in mortality. The higher the serum lactate, the worse the degree of shock and the higher the mortality. Lactate levels higher than 4 mmol/L in patients with suspected infection have been shown to yield a 5-fold increase in the risk of death and are associated with a mortality approaching 30%. [62] It has been hypothesized that lactate clearance is a measure of tissue reperfusion and an indication of adequate therapy. [63, 64]

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