Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:


Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:



Lactic acid

CPT Codes:

83605 – Lactate (lactic acid)

Test Includes:

Lactate concentration reported mg/dL.


Test Indications:

Lactate is produced from pyruvate as an end product of glucose metabolism that is activated when a deficiency of oxygen leads to an accumulation of excess NADH. Lactate testing is used for the evaluation of metabolic acidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis and dehydration.

Lab Testing Sections:


Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

30 minutes

Special Instructions:

It is recommended that the patient be fasting and rest for 2 hours prior to specimen draw. See Collection


Specimen Type:

Whole blood, See Collection


Arterial/Venous draws: Sims Portex syringe (PB151) or Smooth-E syringe (956-463) are the preferred syringes for analysis

Capillary draws: Radiometer Clinitubes

Draw Volume:

0.4 mL blood (arterial/venous), 0.2 mL (capillary)

Processed Volume:

0.2 mL (arterial/venous) whole blood

0.1 mL (capillary) whole blood

Note: Submission of 0.1 mL blood in a single capillary does not allow for repeat analysis.


Arterial punctures are preferred. Venous samples drawn without a tourniquet or capillary samples will be accepted. Immediately remove all air from the syringe, cap tightly and mix by gentle inversion. Capillary tube samples should also be anaerobic and gently inverted to mix. Deliver specimens immediately to the lab at room temperature. Specimens must be analyzed immediately in the laboratory or placed on ice. Specimen should be tested with 30 minutes of collection.

Special Processing:

Lab Staff: Analyze all lactate samples immediately. Do Not centrifuge. Specimen should be delivered to testing station on ice in original collection container. Lab staff responsible for testing should be notified immediately.

Patient Preparation:


Sample Rejection:

Mislabeled or unlabeled specimen; clotted specimen; delay in specimen testing more than 30 minutes after collection


Reference Range:

4.5 - 19.8 mg/dL

Critical Values:

>45 mg/dL


Venous and capillary specimens drawn with a tourniquet may lead to falsely elevated Lactate levels.


Ion Selective Electrode (ISE)


ABL800 FLEX Operator’s Manual from software version 6.00, Publication: 200802, Edition: H, Code number: 990-315,

Jacobs & DeMott Laboratory Test Handbook (2001) Lexi-Comp, Inc, Hudson, OH, 5th Edition

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry (1999) 3rd Edition, WB Saunders Company


2/17/2005: Critical value previously listed as >40 mEq/L.

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