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The lactate test is primarily ordered to help detect and evaluate the severity of hypoxia and lactic acidosis. It may be ordered along with blood gases (to evaluate the body’s acid/base balance and oxygenation), along with pyruvate (another ion involved in energy production), and/or along with groups of tests, such as the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Basic Metabolic Panel and Complete Blood Count, in a patient with evidence of acidosis. In patients being treated for an acute condition (such as shock or heart attack) or a chronic condition (such as severe congestive heart failure), lactate levels may be ordered at intervals to help monitor hypoxia and response to treatment.

The test may be ordered when a patient has symptoms of hypoxia such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, paleness, sweating, nausea, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, or coma. The test may be ordered when a patient presents with what the doctor suspects is shock, heart attack, severe congestive heart failure, renal failure, or uncontrolled diabetes.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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