Lactic Acid Guide
How do we measure lactic acid levels?
Levels of lactate (aka lactic acid) are actually extremely important in the medical world and can help provide vital information as to how serious a person’s illness is. In situations such as heart attack, sepsis and kidney disease, the production of lactate by the body increases and this can be picked up in the blood.
For many years it was thought that an arterial sample of lactate was far more accurate then venous samples, but this meant drawing blood from an artery which is considerably more painful, distressing and sometimes risky to the patient (damage to an artery has more serious consequences than damage to a vein).
Recent research however has shown that there is a relationship between venous and arterial lactate and this can be determined by the following formula.
Arterial lactate (mmol/L) = –0.259 + venous lactate (mmol/L) × 0.996
This allows accurate lactate levels to be determined more easily and safely.