Utility of cerebrospinal fluid lactate in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Jaclyn J. Renfrow, Casey D. Frey, Madison Arnel, Stacey Q. Wolfe, Christopher McLouth, Sudhir Datar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: An external ventricular drain (EVD) treats hydrocephalus in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). This study examines the utility of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lactate collected from an EVD as a proposed biomarker to predict patient outcome and vasospasm/delayed cerebral ischemia. Methods: Consecutive adults admitted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from 2010 to 2015 with aSAH were identified through the electronic medical record, and clinical variables were collected and analyzed for correlation with incidence of vasospasm and discharge outcome. Results: In all, 51 patients with aSAH and an EVD had CSF lactate measured which ranged from 1.9 to 6.2 mmol/L, with a median value of 3.2 mmol/L. Vasospasm based on transcranial Doppler assessment occurred in 29 patients (57%), of which 20 (45%) were clinically symptomatic. Good outcome (discharge to home/acute rehab) occurred in 35 patients (69%). Sixteen patients (31%) had an unfavorable outcome (died/discharged to nursing homes/long-term acute care facility). In multivariate regression analysis, unfavorable outcome at discharge (P = 0.02), elevated CSF protein (P = 0.04), and admission Hunt and Hess score 3-5 (P = 0.05) were significantly associated with higher CSF lactate. The risk of symptomatic vasospasm increased with lactate in univariate analysis, but did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.077). Conclusion: The measurement of the CSF biochemical markers using an EVD is feasible and safe. We found that elevated CSF lactate correlates with patient outcome. Larger prospective studies are needed to test the validity of this finding and for understanding the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. 2018 Surgical Neurology International.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA116
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Surgical Neurology International | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow.


  • Cerebrospinal fluid lactate
  • intracranial aneurysm
  • lactate
  • outcome
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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