Overcoming challenges in ketone testing: from diabetes to sepsis

The detection and monitoring of patients suffering from ketoacidosis continues to increase the laboratory medicine workload. Here, Randox Laboratories examines the issues and illustrates the scope of the problem.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has reached epidemic levels, now attaining the status of a global pandemic, spreading from developed countries to developing countries. The burden on our healthcare systems and epidemiological trends indicate that the prevalence will continue to increase dramatically in the coming years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is estimated to be the seventh leading cause of death globally, with 1.6 million deaths attributed to the condition in 2016.1

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body switches from glucose to predominantly fat metabolism for energy production, which happens when carbohydrate availability reaches low levels. The metabolism of fatty acids in the liver results in the production of chemical by-products known as ketone bodies or ketones.2 Ketosis occurs when the body produces more ketones than the liver can process.

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