Monday, July 13, 2020

Serum lactate in abdominal ischemia

Q: Serum lactate in abdominal ischemia has? (select one)

A) high sensitivity
B) high specificity
C) both

Answer: A

Unfortunately, despite being a known and widespread clinical entity, abdominal ischemia has no specific clinical or laboratory marker. Serum lactate continues to be the most widely used laboratory marker. It is very sensitive for abdominal ischemia (90 to 100 percent) but has low specificity (42 to 87 percent).



1. Murray MJ, Gonze MD, Nowak LR, Cobb CF. Serum D(-)-lactate levels as an aid to diagnosing acute intestinal ischemia. Am J Surg 1994; 167:575. 

2. Lange H, J├Ąckel R. Usefulness of plasma lactate concentration in the diagnosis of acute abdominal disease. Eur J Surg 1994; 160:381.

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