Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 751–755 | Cite as

The Value of Serial Serum Lactate Measurements in Predicting the Extent of Ischemic Bowel and Outcome of Patients Suffering Acute Mesenteric Ischemia

  • Peter Studer
  • Adrian Vaucher
  • Daniel Candinas
  • Beat SchnürigerEmail author
Original Article



Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is an emergency with a mortality rate up to 50 %. Detecting AMI continues to be a major challenge. This study assed the correlation of repeated preoperative serum lactate with bowel necrosis and to identify risk factors for a lethal outcome in patients with AMI.


A retrospective study of 91 patients with clinically and pathologically confirmed AMI from January 2006 to December 2012 was performed.


In-hospital mortality rate was 42.9 %. Two hundred nine preoperative lactate measurements were analyzed (2.3 ± 1.1 values per patient). Less than or equal to six hours prior to surgery, the mean serum lactate level was significantly higher (4.97 ± 4.21 vs. 3.24 ± 3.05 mmol/L, p = 0.006) and the mean pH significantly lower (7.28 ± 0.12 vs. 7.37 ± 0.08, p = 0.001) compared to >6 h before surgery. Thirty-four patients had at least two lactate measurements within 24 h prior to surgery. In this subgroup, 17 patients (50 %) exhibited an increase, 17 patients (50 %) a decrease in lactate levels. Forward logistic regression analysis showed that length of necrotic bowel and the highest lactate value 24 h prior to surgery were independent risk factors for mortality (r 2  = 0.329).


The value of serial lactate and pH measurements to predict the length of necrotic bowel is very limited. Length of necrotic bowel and lactate values are independent risk factors for mortality.


Acute mesenteric ischemia Serum lactate Bowel necrosis Mortality Risk factors 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Studer
    • 1
  • Adrian Vaucher
    • 1
  • Daniel Candinas
    • 1
  • Beat Schnüriger
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Visceral Surgery and MedicineBern University HospitalBernSwitzerland

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