Beta Hydroxybutyrate
Label Mnemonic: BHY
Epic code: LAB570
Downtime form: A-1a Doctor/Provider Orders - Pathology Core and Specialty Care Nursery
6240 RCP
Collection Medium:
Plasma Separator Tube 4.5 mL
Alternate Collection Media:
Call laboratory for additional acceptable specimen collection containers.
3 mL whole blood from light green top tube or 1 light green top Microtainer® for pediatric patients.
Testing Schedule:
24 hrs/day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
Turn Around Time:
1 hour (upon receipt in laboratory)
Reference Range:
0.0-0.3 mEq/l
Ketosis is a common feature in acutely ill patients. In subjects suffering from starvation, acute alcohol abuse, or diabetes mellitus, ketosis can result in severe life-threatening metabolic acidosis. The presence and degree of ketosis can be determined by measuring blood levels of β-hydroxybutyrate.

Ordinarily, β-hydroxybutyrate is the ketoacid present in the greatest amount in serum. It accounts for approximately 75% of the ketone bodies which also include acetoacetate and acetone. During periods of ketosis, β-hydroxybutyrate increases even more than the other two keto acids (acetoacetate and acetone), and has been shown to be a good index of ketoacidosis, including the detection of subclinical ketosis.

In diabetics, the measurement of β-hydroxybutyrate as well as blood glucose can help to assess the severity of diabetic coma and help exclude hyperosmolar non-ketotic diabetic coma.

The β-hydroxybutyrate assay is specific for β-hydroxybutyrate and shows no cross-reactivity with acetoacetate or acetone.
CPT Code:
See also:
Urinalysis, Urine
Beta-Hydroxybutyrate-Other, Body Fluid