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Ketone Bodies Urine Test

Last updated Nov. 5, 2018

The Ketone Bodies Urine Test detects ketone bodies in the urine. It is used to diagnose ketosis and acidification of blood resulting from excess ketone bodies.


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Ketonuria Urine Test

What is Ketone Bodies Urine Test? (Background Information)

  • Ketone bodies are chemical compounds produced when the body is unable to use carbohydrates. This occurs most often because of diabetes, malnutrition, or starvation
  • Ketone bodies include acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These 3 compounds are acidic and toxic
  • Ketosis is the presence of ketone bodies in blood. Acidification of blood often accompanies ketosis because the abundance of acidic ketone bodies overcomes the blood’s alkaline reserves, turning the blood acidic
  • Ketosis results in ketonuria, or the presence of ketone bodies in the urine, as excess ketone bodies pass through the kidneys into blood
  • The Ketone Bodies Urine Test detects ketone bodies in the urine. It is used to diagnose ketosis and acidification of blood resulting from excess ketone bodies

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Ketone Bodies Urine Test?

Following are the clinical indicators for performing the Ketone Bodies Urine Test:

  • Following up to findings of low blood pH
  • Trouble breathing
  • Altered mental status
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Severe dietary restriction of carbohydrates
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bad breath

How is the Specimen Collected for Ketone Bodies Urine Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Ketone Bodies Urine Test:

Sample required: Urine

Process of obtaining a sample in adults: Urination into a sterile container over a 24-hour period.

Preparation required: It is recommended to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or other fluids prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Ketone Bodies Urine Test Result?

  • A positive value for the Ketone Bodies Urine Test is associated with the detection of ketone bodies in urine, which may point to a diagnosis of ketoacidosis

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Acetone, one of the three ketone bodies, is a major component of nail polish remover

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 3, 2016
Last updated: Nov. 5, 2018