Lactic Acid, Lactate

This is a blood test which determines indirectly how much oxygen the tissues are getting. Lactate becomes elevated when oxygen to the tissues is decreased. Anything that would affect your ability to breathe or get oxygen to your cells would elevate your lactate levels. This test determines the amount of hypoxia (decreased oxygen to cells) and also determines what affect therapy (treatment) is having. Some poisons may also increase or affect the lactate level.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary.

  • Avoid exercising before having this test done.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Venous blood: 5-15 mg/dL or 0.6-1.7 mmol/L (SI units)

Arterial blood: 3-7 mg/dL or 0.3-0.8 mmol/L (SI units)

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.