Recent studies have suggested that CSF lactate may be useful in assessing perinatal asphyxia. We studied lactate metabolism in spontaneously breathing newborn beagle puppies lightly anesthetized with ≤ 0.5% halothane and nitrous oxide. Lactate was measured in plasma, brain tissue and CSF following 15 and 30 minutes of asphyxia (FiO2 2-5%; FiCO2 7-8%) and 1 hour recovery. Experimental groups were compared to appropriate controls.
Plasma and brain tissue lactate rose to similar levels following asphyxia. Clearance of lactate by 1 hour was also similar for plasma and brain. CSF lactate rose to lower levels but was not cleared appreciably by 1 hour for either the 15 or 30 minute asphyxia group. The delayed clearance of CSF lactate may be useful clinically in assessing perinatal asphyxia. (Supported by HL 18351 and *RCDA HL 00364)