Beta hydroxybutyrate, serum/plasma

Alphabetical Test listing

Beta hydroxybutyrate, serum/plasma-13432

This test should be ordered only if the specimen cannot be run at an Allina hospital lab within 30 minutes of collection. If the specimen can be run at an Allina hospital lab within 30 minute of collection, order the Beta Hydroxybutyrate, whole blood (in-house).

In-house whole blood testing is available at the Central Laboratory, Buffalo, Cambridge, District One, Mercy, New Ulm, Owatonna, Regina, River Falls, St. Francis, Unity, United hospitals, and WestHealth.

Note differing specimen collection/transport requirements.

Beta hydroxybutyrate, serum/plasma
Beta-hydroxybutyric acid
Ketone bodies

The β-hydroxybutyrate assay will not detect acetoacetic acid and acetone. Acidosis shifts equilibrium toward β-hydroxybutyrate, but treatment of ketoacidosis results in increased acetoacetate and a more positive "acetone" reaction before ketone bodies decrease.


Patient should be fasting

1.0 mL
0.5 mL
Note: This volume does NOT allow for repeat testing
  1. Spin to separate the serum from the cells within two (2) hours of specimen collection
  2. Transfer serum to a Screw-cap polypropylene frozen transport vial/tube - 4mL (LabCorp)
  3. Freeze
EDTA plasma
Sodium heparin (Na hep) plasma
  1. Spin and transfer the plasma to a Screw-cap polypropylene frozen transport vial/tube - 4mL (LabCorp) within two (2) hours of specimen collection
  2. Freeze

Frozen (preferred) - 11 days

Ambient - 8 hours

Refrigerated - 2 days

  • Gross hemolysis
Esoterix Endocrinology (803610) via LabCorp (503610): R-LC
Mo - Th
3 - 10 days



All ages (fasting): 0.2 - 2.8 mg/dL


Beta-Hydroxybutrate is one of 3 sources of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosos in diabetes usually occurs with decreased plasma pH and bicarbonate, increased glucose and other abnormalities. As ketoacidosis and metabolic acidosis are treated, hypokalemia may become evident. A normal or low potassium on admission with ketoacidosis may indicate severe potassium depletion. Thus, potassium is among parameters to follow in treatment of ketoacidosis. In children younger than 10 years of age, diabetic ketoacidosis is reported to account for 70% of diabetes-related deaths.

Result 29512-1