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Ketones blood test

Acetone bodies; Ketones - serum; Nitroprusside test; Ketone bodies - serum; Ketones - blood; Ketoacidosis - ketones blood test; Diabetes - ketones test; Acidosis - ketones test

A ketone blood test measures the amount of ketones in the blood.

Ketones can also be measured with a urine test.

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Blood test

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How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

No preparation is needed.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel slight pain. Others feel a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

Ketones are substances produced in the liver when fat cells break down in the blood. This test is used to diagnose ketoacidosis. This is a life-threatening problem that affects people who:

Normal Results

A normal test result is negative. This means there are no ketones in the blood.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A test result is positive if ketones are found in the blood. This may indicate:

Other reasons ketones are found in the blood include:

Risks

There is little risk in having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Drawing blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

Related Information

Diabetic ketoacidosis
Diabetes
Alcoholic ketoacidosis

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Ketone bodies. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2013:693.

Nadkarni P, Weinstock RS. Carbohydrates. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 16.

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Review Date: 1/26/2019  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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