The aim of this study was to determine the reliability and accuracy of 3 commercially available handheld lactate meters when measuring hemolymph L-lactate in decapod crustaceans. The instruments tested were Accutrend Plus (AP), Lactate Scout (LS), and Lactate Plus (LP), and all models were tested in triplicate and compared with a commonly used enzymatic kit for L-lactate quantification (TB-kit). The Norway lobster Nephrops norwegicus and the European lobster Hommarus gammarus were used as model organisms, with emersion as an invoker of hemolymph L-lactate. Between-method comparisons were investigated by determining correlations (Pearson's r) and concordance (concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and Bland-Altmand's 95% limit of agreement (95% LOA)) between handheld instruments and TB-kit. Within-instrument variation was tested by calculating the coefficient of variation (CV), and the average absolute deviation from the mean (AD). The within-instrument variation was low for all models (CV, 3.8–6.1%; AD, <0.3 mM), showing high reproducibility of technical replicates. A significant correlation with TB-kit was found for all handheld instruments (AP, r = 0.970; LS, r =; 0.956; LP, r = 0.950). For both AP and LS, there was a moderate and significant concordance with TB-kit (AP, CCC = 0.945; LS, CCC = 0.940). The mean difference from TB-kit was -1.42 mM (95% LOA,-4.50–1.66 mM) for AP and 1.19 mM (95% LOA,-3.13–5.51 mM) for LP. Emersion experiments with the European lobster showed that AP and LS were in line with TB-kit in terms of detecting differences in L-lactate levels between groups of animals. As a result of the high frequency of error readings from LP, this instrument was not considered reliable when measuring L-lactate in decapod crustaceans. In conclusion the handheld instruments AP and LS are found to be reliable instruments when measuring hemolymph L-lactate in decapod crustaceans. Comparison of results from different methods should be avoided, and in cases when accurate absolute measurement of L-lactate is needed, methods allowing for greater accuracy and resolution should be used.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1