Review of the Clinical Use of Lactate

American Association of Equine Practitioners

The advances in equine therapeutics over the past 20 years highlight the need for the practitioners to be able to evaluate, prognosticate and monitor a patient´s response to therapy. Lactate has been measured in the equine critical care setting for many years, and even though the interest in lactate dwindled after a few years, a veterinary resurgence has occurred in recent years. The authors of this study have completed a review of the clinical use of lactate, showing the etiology of lactate, how to measure it, interpretation of results and implication to critical patients

The normal concentration of blood lactate in the resting horse is 1–2 mmol/l. Hyperlactatemia is identified as a moderate rise of lactate to levels of 2–5 mmol/l without acidosis. Lactic acidosis occurs at lactate levels greater than 5 mmol/l and results in metabolic acidosis.

Lactate is a good indicator of the severity of disease. Regardless of the cause, a patient with hyperlactatemia should be viewed with suspicion for having a possibly more severe problem than initially assessed. The initial lactate values are very helpful in guiding clients’ choices for therapy. Lactate is helpful as an objective measurement in developing a prognosis in combination with a good physical exam, and diagnostics.

In summary, lactate is generated from several identifiable sources and it can be easily measured through direct tests that are inexpensive and portable. The information gained can be useful in indicating severity, establishing trigger and endpoints in therapy, and stablishing a prognosis.

This article was written in English by Robert Paul Franklin & John G. Peloso, and published in 2006 in American Association of Equine Practitioners, Vol. 52

Please click here to download the original article, written in English:
Review of the Clinical Use of Lactate