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Beaumont Laboratory

Lactic Acid, Plasma

Lactate, EPIC: LAB5133, SOFT: LA

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Gray-top Fluoride Oxalate tube.
See Minimum Pediatric Specimen Requirements.

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Maintain specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) prior to transport. Room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) is acceptable for a maximum of 8 hours.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Whole blood, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Min: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

  • Moderate to grossly hemolyzed specimens.
  • Specimens not collected in fluoride oxalate tubes.
  • Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Plasma After Centrifugation in Fluoride Oxalate (Gray-top tubes)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Uncentrifuged Whole Blood in Fluoride Oxalate (Gray-top tubes)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 8 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 30 days (aliquot separated from cells)

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days (Whole Blood)


Farmington Hills Chemistry Laboratory.
Grosse Pointe Chemistry Laboratory.
Royal Oak STAT Laboratory.
Troy Chemistry Laboratory.


Sunday - Saturday, 24 hours a day.
STAT results available within 1 hour of receipt in the Laboratory.
Routine results available within 4 hours.

Reference Range

0.5-2.2 mmol/L.

Test Methodology



Lactate is an end-product of glycolysis arising mainly in muscle, brain and RBC's. Increased levels may reflect increased rates of production and /or decreased clearance rates (by liver and kidney). Increased lactate production occurs during episodes of tissue hypoxia and anaerobic metabolism. Blood cells rapidly metabolize glucose to lactic acid- it is therefore essential to minimize glycolysis of the blood sample (see Specimen Collection Criteria).

Clinical Utility

This assay aids in the evaluation of metabolic acidosis, regional or diffuse tissue hypoperfusion, hypoxia, shock, congestive heart failure, dehydration, complicated postoperative state, ketoacidosis or nonketotic acidosis in diabetes mellitus, patients with infections, inflammatory states, certain myopathies, acute leukemia and other neoplasia, enzyme defects, glycogen storage disease (type1), thiamine deficiency and hepatic failure.

CPT Code


Test Codes


Last Updated


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This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.