Background: For decades, lactate has been considered an excellent biomarker for oxygen limitation and therefore of organ ischemia. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the frequency of increased brain lactate levels and the LP ratio (LPR) in a cohort of patients with severe or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) subjected to brain microdialysis monitoring to analyze the agreement between these two biomarkers and to indicate brain energy metabolism dysfunction. Methods: Forty-six patients with an admission Glasgow coma scale score of ≤13 after resuscitation admitted to a dedicated 10-bed Neurotraumatology Intensive Care Unit were included, and 5305 verified samples of good microdialysis data were analyzed. Results: Lactate levels were above 2.5 mmol/L in 56.9% of the samples. The relationships between lactate and the LPR could not be adequately modeled by any linear or non-linear model. Neither Cohen's kappa nor Gwet's statistic showed an acceptable agreement between both biomarkers to classify the samples in regard to normal or abnormal metabolism. The dataset was divided into four patterns defined by the lactate concentrations and the LPR. A potential interpretation for these patterns is suggested and discussed. Pattern 4 (low pyruvate levels) was found in 10.7% of the samples and was characterized by a significantly low concentration of brain glucose compared with the other groups. Conclusions: Our study shows that metabolic abnormalities are frequent in the macroscopically normal brain in patients with traumatic brain injuries and a very poor agreement between lactate and the LPR when classifying metabolism. The concentration of lactate in the dialysates must be interpreted while taking into consideration the LPR to distinguish between anaerobic metabolism and aerobic hyperglycolysis. © 2014 Sahuquillo et al.