L-lactate - blood or plasma

Last updated: Thursday, 22, April, 2004

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Item Process

5 mL blood in fluoride tube.

A lithium heparin tube can be used if plasma is separated and frozen immediately.


Spectrophotometry, lactate-specific electrode.

Reference Interval

Fasting arterial blood: 0.3-0.8 mmol/L.
Fasting venous blood: 0.3-1.3 mmol/L.


Investigation of metabolic acidosis with an increased anion gap.


Lactate levels may be increased in association with diabetes mellitus, shock, hypoxia, congestive heart failure, and in numerous other pathological states and metabolic disorders.

Lactic acidosis in children may have a genetic origin.

Lactic acidosis may be seen during treatment of HIV with nucleoside analogues.

See also Pyruvate - blood.


De Backer D. Minerva Anestesiol 2003; 69(4): 281-284.

Falco V et al. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2003; 4(8): 1321-1329.