Objective: To compare 3 portable handheld analyzers with a bench top blood gas analyzer for measurement of blood and peritoneal fluid L-lactate concentrations in horses admitted with signs of colic. Study Design: Prospective clinical study. Sample Population: Blood and peritoneal fluid from horses with colic. Methods: L-lactate concentrations in heparinized blood and peritoneal fluid were measured serially on 10 occasions to evaluate repeatability of the portable analyzers. Blood and peritoneal fluid L-lactate concentrations were simultaneously evaluated by a bench top and 3 portable analyzers and the results compared by intraclass correlation coefficients and Bland Altman plots. L-Lactate concentrations in a subgroup of peritoneal fluid samples were evaluated by a chromogenic laboratory assay and compared with the bench top and the handheld analyzers. Results: Portable lactate analyzers had good intra-analyzer reliability for peritoneal fluid. Two portable analyzers had poor intra-analyzer reliability for mid concentrations of L-lactate in blood. L-lactate measurements from portable analyzers were closer to the bench top analyzer at low concentrations of L-lactate than at higher concentrations. Compared with the bench top analyzer, the Lactate Pro and Lactate Plus have the highest intraclass correlation coefficient and the smallest bias for peritoneal fluid and blood L-lactate, respectively. The bench top analyzer and the Lactate Pro had the highest level of agreement for peritoneal fluid compared with the chromogenic assay. Conclusions: Although portable analyzers are alternatives for the measurement of L-lactate concentration in field situations, clinicians need to be aware of the variable results between analyzers, especially when extrapolating means or cutoff values from studies using different lactate analyzers.
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