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Open Access

Comparison between values of central venous and arterial lactate and standard base excess in shocked patients

  • VRP Pizzo1,
  • ASM Machado1,
  • A Toledo-Maciel1,
  • M Park1 and
  • IT Velasco1
Critical Care20059(Suppl 2):P44

Published: 9 June 2005


Public HealthLactateEmergency MedicineRank TestClinical Decision


Hemodynamic optimization based on tissue perfusion markers is a strategy considered adequate for the management of patients in shock in ICUs.


To evaluate the variability and correlation between venous and arterial standard base excess (SBE) and lactate samples.

Materials and methods

The analysis of lactate levels was performed and the SBE obtained from the same blood of central venous and arterial samples of 115 patients. We compared these measurements (Wilcoxon signed rank test), and determined the correlation between these variables (Spearman rank order correlation).


There was a statistically significant difference between the value of venous SBE: -4.3 mEq/l (-7.4 to -0.9) as compared with the arterial value: -3.2 (-6.9 to 0), P < 0.001; but there was no difference between the venous lactate: 1.67 mmol/l (1.22–2.22) as compared with the arterial lactate: 1.56 (1.22–2.22), P = 0.792. The correlation coefficients were 0.929 to venous and arterial SBE (bias: 0.09) and 0.826 to lactate (bias: -0.024).


The agreement between venous and arterial samples permits one to use the central venous lactate level similar to the arterial level and their variations. For SBE, the module value was different between the measurements, otherwise their variation has good correlation. As these variations guide the clinical decision, we can use it as a goal of hemodynamic monitoring.


It is possible to guide hemodynamic monitoring in shock patients using values of central venous lactate and variations of SBE.

Authors’ Affiliations

Clinical Intensive Care Unit, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil


© BioMed Central Ltd 2005