Blood lactate levels in sepsis: in 8 questions

Jean Louis Vincent, Jan Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Blood lactate concentrations are frequently measured in critically ill patients and have important prognostic value. Here, we review some key questions related to their clinical use in sepsis. RECENT FINDINGS: Despite the metabolic hurdles, measuring lactate concentrations remains very informative in clinical practice. Although blood lactate levels change too slowly to represent the only guide to resuscitation, serial lactate levels can help to define the patient's trajectory and encourage a review of the therapeutic strategy if they remain stable or increase over time. SUMMARY: Lactate concentrations respond too slowly to be used to guide acute changes in therapy, but can help evaluate overall response. Hyperlactatemia should not be considered as a problem in itself, but as a warning of altered cell function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Blood lactate levels in sepsis: in 8 questions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this