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Open Badges Commentary

Lactate in the critically ill patients: an outcome marker with the times

H Bryant Nguyen

Author Affiliations

Department of Emergency Medicine and Department of Medicine, Critical Care, Loma Linda University, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

Critical Care 2011, 15:1016  doi:10.1186/cc10531

See related research by Nicholet al.,

Published: 5 December 2011


Lactic acid was first discovered in human blood in 1843. Since then it has been used as a prognosticator of outcome in critical illness. Regardless of its etiology, lactate's presence and trend over time have been shown to be independently associated with mortality. Two dynamic lactate measures, the time-weighted average lactate and the absolute change in lactate over the first 24 hours in the ICU, were recently shown to be better than static lactate measurements in predicting hospital and ICU deaths.