Results from a lactic acid test may be more
accurate when the blood is taken from an artery (arterial blood gas) rather than from a vein. For more information, see the topic
Arterial Blood Gas.
exercise, the heart and lungs supply adequate amounts of oxygen to the body for
energy. Anaerobic exercise uses more oxygen than the lungs and heart can supply
to the body so the energy supply is less, thus causing high lactic acid levels
in the blood. Usually anaerobic exercise forces a person to slow down or stop
exercising because lactic acid buildup causes moderate to severe muscle aches
and muscle stiffness. But some highly trained athletes learn to tolerate short
periods of high lactic acid levels. During aerobic exercise, the air you
breathe contains enough oxygen to use blood sugars normally and completely for
the body's energy needs, and lactic acid levels do not rise.
acid can be measured in fluids other than blood, such as spinal fluid. Lactic
acid levels in body fluids often increase when an infection is present. The
amount of lactic acid in spinal fluid may be measured to determine whether a
brain infection is being caused by bacteria or a virus.
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.