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Editor—We read with interest the article by Deshpande about blood lactate and acid base status in neonates. We agree with the authors about the lack of correlation between blood pH and lactate. Nevertheless, in a retrospective study we found that the anion gap [(Na+K) - (Cl+HCO3)] was a reliable marker, and correlated well with blood lactate for at least 36 hours.
From January 1990 until December 1992, 155 asphyxiated neonates were admitted after acute fetal distress. All were mechanically ventilated …