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Evaluating the Possibility of Translating Technological Advances in Non-Invasive Continuous Lactate Monitoring into Critical Care.

Crapnell, Robert D, Tridente, Ascanio, Banks, Craig E and Dempsey-Hibbert, Nina C (2021) Evaluating the Possibility of Translating Technological Advances in Non-Invasive Continuous Lactate Monitoring into Critical Care. Sensors, 21 (3). ISSN 1424-8220

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Abstract

Lactate is widely measured in critically ill patients as a robust indicator of patient deterioration and response to treatment. Plasma concentrations represent a balance between lactate production and clearance. Analysis has typically been performed with the aim of detecting tissue hypoxia. However, there is a diverse range of processes unrelated to increased anaerobic metabolism that result in the accumulation of lactate, complicating clinical interpretation. Further, lactate levels can change rapidly over short spaces of time, and even subtle changes can reflect a profound change in the patient’s condition. Hence, there is a significant need for frequent lactate monitoring in critical care. Lactate monitoring is commonplace in sports performance monitoring, given the elevation of lactate during anaerobic exercise. The desire to continuously monitor lactate in athletes has led to the development of various technological approaches for non-invasive, continuous lactate measurements. This review aims firstly to reflect on the potential benefits of non-invasive continuous monitoring technology within the critical care setting. Secondly, we review the current devices used to measure lactate non-invasively outside of this setting and consider the challenges that must be overcome to allow for the translation of this technology into intensive care medicine. This review will be of interest to those developing continuous monitoring sensors, opening up a new field of research.

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