Admission lactate concentration has predictive value for death or severe complications within 30 days after admission in cattle with long-bone fractures

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2022 Nov 24;261(2):273-280. doi: 10.2460/javma.22.04.0181.


Objective: To determine the prognostic value of lactate concentration measurements at admission in cattle with long-bone fractures.

Animals: 43 cattle with long-bone fractures between July 2016 and Dec 2018.

Procedures: In this prospective cohort study, lactate concentration was measured in systemic venous blood and locally in capillary blood sampled from the fractured and contralateral limbs of cattle and assessed for outcome prediction. The cutoff value was determined by maximizing the Youden index from receiver-operating characteristic curves. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to verify whether higher lactate concentrations compared with the cutoff value were an independent risk factor for poor outcomes at 30 days or 3 years after admission.

Results: Poor outcome was associated with higher capillary lactate concentration in the fractured limb (P < .001) and greater difference with systemic blood (P = .005). A cutoff value of lactate difference ≥ 2.4 mmol/L (sensitivity = 0.80; specificity = 0.965) between capillary lactate in the fractured limb and systemic blood was the best predictor of death ≤ 30 days after admission (P < .001). Multivariable analysis revealed that this cutoff value was an independent risk factor for 30-day and 3-year outcomes (P < .001).

Clinical relevance: Admission blood lactate concentration difference ≥ 2.4 mmol/L between the fractured limb and systemic blood was a robust and independent predictor of outcome for cattle of the present report. Lactate metabolism is locally impaired in fractured limbs of nonsurviving or at higher complication risk cattle, which may help identify patients at high risk for poor outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases*
  • Fractures, Bone* / complications
  • Fractures, Bone* / veterinary
  • Lactic Acid
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve


  • Lactic Acid