How is lactic acidosis characterized?

Updated: Dec 09, 2020
  • Author: Bret A Nicks, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Lactic acidosis is characterized by an excess of serum lactate when lactate production is augmented, lactate utilization and clearance are decreased, or both. Numerous etiologies may be responsible for its presence, most commonly circulatory failure and hypoxia, although regional ischemia or impairment of cellular metabolism are additional causes. Evidence suggests increased morbidity and mortality for patients with increasing lactate levels or a decreased rate of lactate clearance. [7, 8]  Serial lactate assessments concurrent with focused intervention can help to guide adequate resuscitation. [9]


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