Beta-Hydroxy-Butyrate, Serum


Increased fatty acid metabolism due to carbohydrate deprivation (starvation) or decreased carbohydrate utilisation (diabetes) results in increased production of aceto acetic acid (a by-product of fatty acid metabolism). This may exceed the capacity of peripheral tissue to metabolise acetoacetate leading to its accumulation in the blood. Consequently, a small part of acetoacetate is spontaneously decarboxylated and converted to acetone whereas the greater majority in converted to ß-hydroxy-butyrate. These three compounds, ß-hydroxy-butyrate, acetoacetate and acetone, are termed ketone bodies.


On average, the relative proportion of β-hydroxy-butyrate to the remaining ketone bodies is around 78%. Thus, making it the most accurate indicator of ketoacidosis that is observed in starvation, malnutrition, digestive disturbances and more frequently in diabetes mellitus. Glycogen storage disease and alkalosis may also result in ketoacidosis.

Sample Type, Quantity & Conditions

2 ml Serum Room Temperature

Special Precautions

Normal Range

By Report

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