Vincent et al. evaluated a total of 96 studies where a decrease in lactate levels over time was consistently associated with lower mortality rates in all subgroups of patients. All groups showed relatively slow changes, so performing lactate measurements every 1-2 hours is probably sufficient in most severe conditions.
The authors of this study, published in the journal Critical Care in 2016, assume that blood lactate levels may be useful for evaluating a patient’s response to established therapy. Although the focus of various published studies has largely focused on septic patients, many other studies have reported serial blood lactate levels in different groups of critically ill patients.
After analysing 96 studies that met the established criteria, the authors concluded that a decrease in blood lactate concentrations means there is a better prognosis. These observations are not specific to patients with sepsis but apply to all common hyperlactatemia situations and to heterogeneous patient populations.
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