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Test Code LA Lactic Acid, Plasma, LAB95


Oxidation of Lactate to Pyruvate

Performing Laboratory

St. Luke's Hospital Cedar Rapids

Specimen Requirements

Specimen must be drawn from a stasis-free vein without use of a tourniquet if possible.



Preferred: Grey-top (potassium oxalate/sodium fluoride) tube-Hemolyzed specimen is not acceptable.

Specimen Volume: 0.1 mL potassium oxalate/sodium fluoride plasma

Stability: Specimens should be centrifuged and plasma separated from the cells within 15 minutes.  Specimens must be analyzed within 8 hours of collection when kept refrigerated or at room temperature.

Collection Instructions: Lactate levels increase rapidly with physical exercise.

                                         Allow 30 minutes rest for lactate levels to return to normal

                                         before drawing blood.



Reference Values

0.4-2.0 mmol/L


Critical Value:  4.0 mmol/L

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Sunday

Test Classification and CPT Coding


Useful For


Lactate measurements help evaluate acid-base status and are used in the diagnosis and treatment of lactic acidosis (abnormally high acidity in the blood).

The common cause for increased blood lactate and pyruvate is anoxia resulting from such conditions as shock, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  Lactic acidosis may also occur in renal failure and leukemia.  Thiamine deficiency and diabetic ketoacidosis are associated with increased levels of lactate and pyruvate.