How to Read Blood Ketone Test Results

Blood ketone testing. Photodisc/Getty Images

How to Read Blood Ketone Results:

Ketone blood testing is the preferred method for assessing the presence of ketones during times of sickness. Urine test strips are still in use but the American Diabetes Association advocates the use of blood ketone tests because they are more accurate and timely.

Blood ketone tests use different measurements than the numbers you are familiar with on your glucose meter.

When using a combination home blood glucose and ketone meter, such as the Precision Xtra Meter by Abbott Labs, or if you have your blood drawn and assessed at a lab, the results will fall into one of the following three ranges:

  • Below 0.6 mmol/L

    If your reading is below 0.6 you are in the normal range.

  • 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L

    If your number is in this range you have the presence of ketones in your blood, which may develop into a problem if not treated. You should be in touch with your healthcare provider and follow his or her instructions.

  • Above 1.5 mmol/L


Readings above 1.5 indicate a greater risk for developing ketoacidosis (DKA). You should immediately contact your healthcare provider for advice. Readings above 3.0 mmd/L may warrant a trip to the nearest emergency room for immediate treatment.


The Importance of Blood Ketone Testing in Diabetes Management. Managed Care. Accessed August 16, 2010.

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