Plasma lactic acid measurement is used to diagnose and monitor patients with lactic acidosis.
Lactic acid is derived from carbohydrate metabolism and is used for muscle contraction when energy needs exceed oxygen supply (anaerobic metabolism). One fifth of the lactic acid produced is oxidized through the citric acid cycle, and the remainder is converted to muscle glycogen. Lactic acid participates in the body's regulatory systems that maintain the acid-base balance and may increase its concentration to compensate for respiratory alkalosis. Lactic acid levels increase when the body is exposed to any form of stress. During vigorous physical activity, blood lactic acid levels can even increase by 10 times the normal level.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Alcoholism, heart failure, congestive heart failure, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, hemorrhage, liver coma, hyperthermia, hypoxia, lactic acidosis, liver disease, malignancy, peritonitis, renal aneurysm
- Decrease: Hypothermia
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.