- Author(s): Kraut, Jeffrey A
- Madias, Nicolaos E
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1056/nejmra1309483
Lactic acidosis results from the accumulation of lactate and protons in the body fluids and is often associated with poor clinical outcomes. The effect of lactic acidosis is governed by its severity and the clinical context. Mortality is increased by a factor of nearly three when lactic acidosis accompanies low-flow states or sepsis,1 and the higher the lactate level, the worse the outcome.2 Although hyperlactatemia is often attributed to tissue hypoxia, it can result from other mechanisms. Control of the triggering conditions is the only effective means of treatment. However, advances in understanding its pathophysiological features and the factors causing cellular dysfunction in the condition could lead to new therapies. This overview of lactic acidosis emphasizes its pathophysiological aspects, as well as diagnosis and management. We confine our discussion to disorders associated with accumulation of the l optical isomer of lactate, which represent the vast majority of cases of lactic acidosis encountered clinically.