Hyperlactatemia during cardiopulmonary bypass: Determinants and impact on postoperative outcome

Marco Ranucci, Barbara De Toffol, Giuseppe Isgrò, Federica Romitti, Daniela Conti, Maira Vicentini

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Introduction: Hyperlactatemia during cardiopulmonary bypass is relatively frequent and is associated with an increased postoperative morbidity. The aim of this study was to determine which perfusion-related factors may be responsible for hyperlactatemia, with specific respect to hemodilution and oxygen delivery, and to verify the clinical impact of hyperlactatemia during cardiopulmonary bypass in terms of postoperative morbidity and mortality rate. Methods: Five hundred consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass were admitted to this prospective observational study. During cardiopulmonary bypass, serial arterial blood gas analyses with blood lactate and glucose determinations were obtained. Hyperlactatemia was defined as a peak arterial blood lactate concentration exceeding 3 mmol/l. Pre- and intraoperative factors were tested for independent association with the peak arterial lactate concentration and hyperlactatemia. The postoperative outcome of patients with or without hyperlactatemia was compared. Results: Factors independ ently associated with hyperlactatemia were the preoperative serum creatinine value, the presence of active endocarditis, the cardiopulmonary bypass duration, the lowest oxygen delivery during cardiopulmonary bypass, and the peak blood glucose level. Once corrected for other explanatory variables, hyperlactatemia during cardiopulmonary bypass remained significantly associated with an increased morbidity, related mainly to a postoperative low cardiac output syndrome, but not to mortality. Conclusion: Hyperlactatemia during cardiopulmonary bypass appears to be related mainly to a condition of insufficient oxygen delivery (type A hyperlactatemia). During cardiopulmonary bypass, a careful coupling of pump flow and arterial oxygen content therefore seems mandatory to guarantee a sufficient oxygen supply to the peripheral tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR167
JournalCritical Care
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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