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Test ID: 


CPT code:




3-Hydroxybutyrate (3HB)

Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid

Ketone Bodies

Clinical Use:

β-hydroxybutyrate is one of three sources of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis 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.1 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

Specimen Type:

Serum (preferred) or plasma, frozen

Requested Volume: 

1 mL

Minimum Volume: 

0.5 mL

Container Type: 

Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, lavender-top (EDTA) tube, or green-top (sodium heparin) tube.

Patient Preparation: 

Patient should be fasting.


Serum/plasma must be separated from cells within two hours of venipuncture. Transfer separated serum/plasma to a plastic transport tube. To avoid delays in turnaround time when requesting multiple tests on frozen samples, please submit separate frozen specimens for each test requested.

Storage Instructions:


Stability Requirements:



Room temperature

8 hours


2 days


11 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3


Rejection Criteria

Gross hemolysis

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