Skip to main content

Lactate in burn patients: biomarker of sepsis and mortality

Introduction

In this study, we attempted to assess whether the early plasma lactate (PL) level is a useful biomarker to predict septic complications and outcome in burn patients.

Methods

A retrospective study was conducted in the burn care center in Tunis. Patients admitted within 24 hours from the thermal injury, from 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2010, were included. PL was measured early in the first 24 hours and controlled more than twice. For each measurement, 5 ml venous blood was drawn into a heparin-coated syringe. The normal lactate value was defined as 1 ± 0.5 mmol/l.

Results

Over an 18-month period of study, 80 patients were enrolled. There were 60 males and 20 females. The mean age was 40.7 ± 19.5 and the average TBSA was 32 ± 21%. Upon admission, patients with an initial lactate value of more than 2 mmol/l were 86.7%. Fifty-eight percent of them have a lactate initial value of more than 4 mmol/l. In order to evaluate the potential impact of using early lactate measurements (H24 post burn injury) as predictor biomarker of sepsis in burn patients, a linear discrimination function was performed, by measuring the area under the ROC curve, and found that initial lactate value of more than 4 mmol/l provides the best sensitivity and specificity: 88% and 79% respectively. Also, the PL cut-off value for prediction of mortality was 4 mmol/l with a good sensitivity (86%) and specificity (92%). The area under the ROC curve was 0.96.

Conclusion

Lactate appears to be a powerful predictor biomarker of sepsis and mortality in burn patients. A serum lactate of 4 mmol/l provides the best sensitivity and specificity.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A Mokline.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mokline, A., Gharsallah, L., Abdenneji, A. et al. Lactate in burn patients: biomarker of sepsis and mortality. Crit Care 16, P258 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc10865

Download citation

Keywords

  • Lactate
  • Powerful Predictor
  • Care Center
  • Good Sensitivity
  • Thermal Injury