Lactic Acidosis

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Lactate and Lactic acid are frequently used (& often misunderstood) labs in the ICU. This OnePager reviews the physiology of why/how we produce lactic acid and breaks lactic acidosis into two categories: Impaired O2 Delivery (Type A Lactic Acidosis) and Impaired O2 clearance/utilization (Type B Lactic Acidosis). I also discuss the rare and easily missed Type D Lactic acidosis (due to bacterial production of the stereoisomer).


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Author(s): Nick Mark, MD

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Attribution:   Title: “Lactic Acidosis”   Creator: “Nick Mark MD“  Source:OnePager ICU“   License: “CC BY-SA 3.0

Citation Example:   OnePagers: Mark NM, “Lactic Acidosis” Published 2021-01-25, OnePagerICU, URL: (accessed Date)