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Beta-hydroxybutyric Acid

Ketones (ketone bodies) are by-products of fat metabolism, and ketone blood tests are primarily used to detect, and monitor a serious, sometimes life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Also Known asSerum Ketones, Plasma Ketones, Beta-hydroxybutyrate, Ketone Bodies, Beta-hydroxybutyric Acid , Acetoacetate, Acetoacetic Acid, Acetone, Ketone Body, Blood Ketone
Test Purpose
Test PreparationsNo Special Preparation Required
Test ComponentsKeytone Body
Specimen2 ML (0.5 ML Min.) Serum From 1 SST. Ship Refrigerated Or Frozen.
Stability Room6 Hrs
Stability Refrigerated12 Hrs
Stability Frozen4 Weeks
MethodEnzymatic
Download Report Not Available
Serum Ketone Body

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Why get tested:

To determine the amount of ketones (ketones, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone) in your blood to help diagnose life-threatening problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA)

When to get tested:

When you have symptoms associated with ketoacidosis, such as increased urination, excessive thirst, dehydration, rapid breathing, and shortness of breath.

Normal Value:

Blood Ketone Bodies: 0.6 – 1.5 mmol/l

Signs And Symptoms

  • This condition is seen in carbohydrates deficiency or starvation or frequent vomiting.
  • The patient will have a thirst and a dry mouth.
  • Increased frequency of urine.
  • There is easy fatigue.
  • There may be nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • There is a fruity odor breath.
  • Difficult in concentration and confusion.
  • This condition may become very serious if not treated in time.

Laboratory Diagnosis

  1. Blood glucose: level is 300 to 500 mg/dL or higher.
  2. Ketones bodies: These are positive in the urine and their level in the blood is increased.
  3. Electrolytes: Sodium is decreased.
    1. Potassium is increased.
  4. Blood gasses: There is metabolic acidosis.
    1. The pH is low.
    2. Bicarbonate markedly decreased.

Increased Ketones In:

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Acute illness, especially in children (febrile illness, Gastroenteritis, dehydration)
  • Alcoholic Ketoacidosis (similar to Starvation Ketosis)
  • Starvation Ketosis
    • Ketoacids increase 10 fold to >1 mmol/L after 3 days of Fasting
  • Type I Glycogen Storage Disease (Von Gierke’s Disease)
  • Isopropanol Ingestion (Isopropyl Alcohol or Rubbing Alcohol)
    • Only found on acetone testing
    • Does NOT raise serum Beta-Hydroxybutyrate levels (most common modern day testing modality)
    • Does not result in a Metabolic Acidosis with Anion Gap

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