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Lactate clearance vs. Scv02 for Early Goal-Directed Therapy

  • Included 300 patients presenting to the ED with severe sepsis or septic shock
  • Randomized patients to either central venous oxygen saturation (Scv02 > 70%) or lactate clearance (>10% clearance).
  • This was the third goal of therapy following maximization of central venous pressure (CVP > 8 mmHg) and mean arterial pressure (MAP > 65 mmHg)
    • Lactate clearance = 100 x (lactate initial – lactate delayed) / lactate initial
  • Lactate clearance was initially measured 2 hours after initial lactate, and then every hour thereafter.
  • Lactate levels less than 2 mmol/L were considered to be at goal
  • As with Scv02, if lactate clearance was < 10%, pRBCs and dobutamine were given (based on Rivers 2001 criteria)
  • Primary endpoint (hospital mortality rate) was non-inferior between Scv02 and lactate clearance (23% vs. 17%, Cl difference of -3% to +15%)
  • The median lactate clearance at 2 hours was 40%
  • Baseline lactate levels were much lower than those seen in the original Rivers 2001 early-goal directed therapy trial (7 mmol/L vs. 4 mmol/L)
  • Only 10% of patients required pRBC transfusion or dobutamine; thus, the difference in protocol only applied to a minority of study patients


In ED patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, early goal-directed therapy with lactate clearance is non-inferior to central venous oxygen saturation for hospital mortality.

See the paper here


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