Lactate Csf

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What is this test?

This test is used to evaluate the levels of lactate present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The lactate is produced by almost every cell in the body and the concentration of lactate is generally low. The cells normally generate energy by converting glucose in the presence of oxygen. During the lack or decreased oxygen supply, the cells produce lactate which is then converted to produce ATP as energy. The increase or decrease in the lactate levels may indicate the presence of conditions or diseases which may either increase lactate production or decrease lactate clearance or presence of any metabolic disorders like diabetes, lactic acidosis etc.

What are Lactate and CSF (Cerebrospinal fluid)?

Lactate is a product of cell metabolism. A Large amount of lactate is produced by the cells during the lack of oxygen due to strenuous exercise or in seriously ill patients who are suffering from conditions like sepsis, hypoxia, lactic acidosis, etc. The lactate is released into the blood which is then metabolized and excreted by the liver. The blood concentrations of lactate may be used to evaluate the disease or disorders.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a clear colorless fluid produced in the ventricles of the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain and spinal cord and plays role in providing nutrients, mechanical support to the brain by acting as a cushion to prevent trauma or injury and removes waste products from brain metabolism. The composition of lactate can change in the presence of different diseases, conditions or medications. The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid can be used for the diagnosis of these diseases or conditions.

Why is this test performed?

The lactate CSF test is recommended in individuals if they are experiencing symptoms of hypoxia or lactic acidosis like headaches, fever, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, paleness, sweating, coma, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, rapid breathing etc.

This test is recommended to patients suffering from diseases or conditions like bacterial or viral meningitis, sepsis, shock, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, uncontrolled diabetes etc. This test may also be recommended to evaluate the progress of the treatment or to evaluate the condition of the patient.


Exercise and some medicines like aspirin and metformin may interfere with your test results. However, follow all the instructions given by your doctor.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Lactate Csf. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Lactate Csf.

No test preparations are needed in general.

Understanding your test results

If your CSF lactate test results are higher or lower than the normal range then it may indicate that the individual is suffering from conditions or diseases which are causing the lactate to build up in the CSF. The diseases or conditions which may cause changes in the CSF lactate are infectious diseases like encephalitis, meningitis, intracranial hemorrhage, Inflammatory or autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, meningeal sarcoidosis, malignancies of CNS etc.

Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests, etc.

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UNISEXAll age groups> 35mg/dl in Bacterial Meningitis
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