Is capillary ketone determination useful in clinical practice? In which circumstances?Diabetes Metab 2005; 31(3 Pt 1):299-303DM
A new method is now available to measure capillary levels of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), one of the three ketone bodies. It is a quantitative and enzymatic test that uses the same equipment as for home capillary blood glucose determination but with specific strips. In comparison to urine ketone test, there is no false negative or false positive results, it is highly correlate to standard automate assays and patients find it more acceptable. Clinical implementations of this new test begin to be reported. Some studies showed an advantage of ketonemia versus ketonuria measurement to detect and to treat diabetic ketoacidosis in the emergency room. In diabetic patients treated with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, ketonemia seems to be more relevant to detect lack of insulin. In the current care of patient with type 1 diabetes and especially in children blood ketone test is more effective than urine ketone test to prevent hospitalisation during sick days. For other situations such as diabetic pregnancy or type 2 diabetes, more data are needed to determine if capillary measurement of 3HB is really useful. This new test is easier and less unpleasant than doing urinary test but it is still far more expensive. Further clinical studies are needed to define whether self 3HB monitoring should substitute urinary test in outpatient care.