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Few data are available about the diagnostic yield of the lactate stress test (LST) in a large group of patients with mitochondriopathy (MCP).
Serum lactate was determined once before, three times during, and once after a 15-minute, constant 30W workload on a bicycle in 62 controls, aged 17 to 84 years, 155 patients with MCP, aged 17 to 87 years, and 31 patients with neurological disorders other than MCP.
Lactate's upper reference limits at rest, 5, 10, 15 minutes after starting, and 15 minutes after finishing the exercise were 2.0, 2.1, 2.1, 2.1 and 1.8 mmol/l respectively. The test was regarded abnormal if more than two of the five lactate values exceeded the cut-off levels. Among the 103 patients with abnormal LST, 64 (62 %) had normal resting lactate. The sensitivity of the test was 67% and the specificity 94%.
The LST proved to have a high sensitivity and specificity in the detection of patients with MCP, being thus a simple but powerful tool to assess the impaired oxidative metabolism in MCP patients.
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