Acute Crit Care.  2019 Nov;34(4):255-262. 10.4266/acc.2019.00640.

The association between the initial lactate level and need for massive transfusion in severe trauma patients with and without traumatic brain injury

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.


Exsanguination is a major cause of death in severe trauma patients. The purpose of this study was to analyze the prognostic impact of the initial lactate level for massive transfusion (MT) in severe trauma. We divided patients according to subgroups of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and non-TBI.
This single-institution retrospective study was conducted on patients who were admitted to hospital for severe trauma between January 2016 and December 2017. TBI was defined by a head Abbreviated Injury Scale ≥3. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to analyze the prognostic impact of the lactate level. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship between the MT and lactate level. The primary outcome was MT.
Of the 553 patients, MT was performed in 62 patients (11.2%). The area under the curve (AUC) for the lactate level for predicting MT was 0.779 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.742 to 0.813). The AUCs for lactate level in the TBI and non-TBI patients were 0.690 (95% CI, 0.627 to 0.747) and 0.842 (95% CI, 0.796 to 0.881), respectively. In multivariate analyses, the lactate level was independently associated with the MT (odds ratio [OR], 1.179; 95% CI, 1.070 to 1.299). The lactate level was independently associated with MT in non-TBI patients (OR, 1.469; 95% CI, 1.262 to 1.710), but not in TBI patients.
The initial lactate level may be a possible prognostic factor for MT in severe trauma. In TBI patients, however, the initial lactate level was not suitable for predicting MT.


blood transfusion; lactate; trauma; traumatic brain injury

MeSH Terms

Abbreviated Injury Scale
Area Under Curve
Blood Transfusion
Brain Injuries*
Cause of Death
Lactic Acid*
Multivariate Analysis
Retrospective Studies
ROC Curve
Lactic Acid
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