B-hydroxybutyrate, Serum


Reference Range

Beta-Hyroxybutyrate is one of the ketone bodies produced in the liver. This acid is metabolized by 3-hydroxybutyrate to form acetoacetate, using NAD+ as an electron acceptor. Beta-hydroxybutyrate can be used as an energy supply for extrahepatic tissues, especially kidneys and muscles; they can be viewed as water soluble stores for acetyl-CoA. This test is also used for diabetic patients to look for the presence of ketones which may be associated with diabetic ketoacidosis. INCREASED levels are associated with diabetic ketoacidosis (especially in diabetes mellitus type I), alcoholic ketoacidosis (alcoholism), fasting (especially children), glycogen storage disease, and digestive disturbances.

Special Requirements

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