Preferred Sample Type


Suitable Specimen Types

  • Fluoride Oxalate
100uL plasma minimum volume 50 uL (CSF samples can also be used)

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Sample must be centrifuged and separated immediately on receipt (which must be within 30 minutes of collection).

Sample Preparation

Sample must be collected on ice and transported to laboratory for centrifugation within 30 minutes of collection.

Turnaround Time

1 day

Sample Stability

Seperated plasma may be stored for 3 days at 4°C


General Information

The common cause for increased blood lactate is anoxia resulting from such conditions such as convulsions, shock, sepsis, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Lactate levels in CSF are increased in bacterial meningitis, and any condition associated with reduced oxygenation of the brain

Lactate is increased in metabolic liver disease, glycogen storage disorders.

Patient Preparation

Patients should not clench and unclench hands before or during phlebotomy. Specimens should be obtained without the use of a tourniquet or immediately after the tourniquet has been applied. If there is any delay in obtaining the specimen or if the initial draw is unsuccessful, the tourniquet should be removed and the blood should be allowed to circulate for at least two minutes before trying again.


CSF samples can also be used. Please collect these into fluoride/oxalate tube.

Haemolysis interferes with this assay and haemolysed samples will not be analysed.

Reference Range

<16yrs   0.6-2.5 mmol/L    (Source : Pathology Harmony Recommendations)

Adult      0.5-2.2 mmol/L   (Source : Abbott Diagnostics)

CSF lactate-age related: 1.1-6.7mmol/L (neonates) 1.1-2.4 mmol/L (adults) 


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status: WEQAS

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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235