A ketone blood test measures the amount of ketones in the blood.
Ketones can also be measured with a urine test.
A blood sample is needed.
No preparation is needed.
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.
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:
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.
A test result is positive if ketones are found in the blood. This may indicate:
Other reasons ketones are found in the blood include:
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:
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.