How is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) diagnosed?

Updated: Jun 27, 2020
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Urine ketones are not reliable for diagnosing or monitoring diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), although they may be useful in screening to see whether a hyperglycemic individual may have some degree of ketonemia. The plasma acetone level—specifically, the beta-hydroxybutyrate level—is a more reliable indicator of DKA, along with measurement of plasma bicarbonate or arterial pH as clinically required. (See the Medscape Reference Laboratory Medicine article Ketones.)


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