Lab Med Online.  2014 Jan;4(1):22-27.

Evaluation of the T-KB-H and 3-HB Kits for the Measurement of Serum Ketone and beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.


Diabetes mellitus and alcohol consumption are the most common causes of ketoacidosis in adults. Recently, beta-hydroxybutyric acid (betaHBA) was reported to be a potential serum biomarker in the diagnosis and monitoring of ketoacidosis. We evaluated the performance of T-KB-H and 3-HB kits for the measurement of ketone bodies [acetoacetate (AcAc)+betaHBA] and betaHBA, respectively.
Quantitative enzymatic assays were performed using the T-KB-H and 3-HB kits (Nittobo Medical Co., Japan) and the Architect ci16200 Integrated System (Abbott Laboratories, USA). Simultaneously, the ketone body levels in these serum samples were determined by gas chromatography-mas spectrometry (GC-MS). We evaluated precision and linearity of these kits and correlation with GC-MS, and established reference intervals in children and adults.
The coefficients of variation for the T-KB-H and 3-HB kits were less than 4.0% at analyte levels of 50, 100, and 400 micromol/L. Linearity was observed for AcAc and betaHBA over a 0-1,000 micromol/L range (R2<0.99). Results from the T-KB-H and 3-HB kits were in good agreement with those from the GC-MS analysis, with correlation coefficients of 0.94 for AcAc and 0.96 for betaHBA. Reference intervals determined for the T-KB-H kit were 9.8-270.1 micromol/L and 18.5-531.8 micromol/L in children and adults, respectively. For the 3-HB kit, the reference intervals were 6.4-234.0 micromol/L and 16.0-437.2 micromol/L in children and adults, respectively.
The T-KB-H and 3-HB kits displayed good precision, clinically acceptable linearity, and reliable correlation with an established assay. This indicates that the kits can be used clinically for measuring serum ketone bodies.


Ketone bodies; Diabetic ketoacidosis; Acetoacetate; 3-hydroxybutyric acid; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
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