Background: In critically ill patients, elevation in the plasma lactate concentration has traditionally been interpreted as indicating a deficiency in oxygen availability and is often an impetus to increase oxygen delivery clinically. However, another possible basis for increased lactate concentrations may be simply a mass effect from increased pyruvate availability (i.e., accelerated glycolysis). Methods: In six hypermetabolic burned patients, the rates of glucose production and oxidation were quantified using a tracer infusion of 6,6 d2 glucose combined with indirect calorimetry. Measurements were obtained after a 9-hour fast and after a 3-hour infusion of unlabeled glucose at 30 μmol/kg/min. No patient was overtly septic, hypoxic, or hypovolemic. Results: The infusion of glucose significantly increased the arterial glucose concentration and rate of glucose oxidation, with a corresponding increase in the arterial plasma concentration of lactate and pyruvate. Resting energy expenditure and oxygen consumption were not affected by the infusion of glucose. Conclusions: These findings show that elevations in plasma lactate in severely injured patients may, in part, be related to increases in glucose flux and not entirely a reflection of any deficit in oxygen availability. Such findings highlight a potential pitfall for interpreting plasma lactate concentrations as an index of tissue oxygen availability in hypermetabolic patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2000|
- Oxygen availability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine