Peak Lactate and Patient Outcome Following High-Risk Gastrointestinal Surgery

The association between hyperlactatemia and adverse outcome in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) following gastrointestinal surgery has not been reported. Creagh-Brown et al therefore set out to explore the hypothesis that in a large cohort of gastrointestinal surgical patients, the peak serum lactate (in the first 24 hours) observed in patients admitted to the ICU following surgery is associated with unadjusted and severity-adjusted acute hospital mortality and that the strength of association is greater in patients admitted following emergency surgery than in patients admitted following elective surgery.

They found that elevated lactate is independently associated with in-hospital mortality in the postoperative gastrointestinal surgical patient and is no less significant in the context of elective surgery.

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