Purpose: To investigate whether it is better to use blood beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) or urinary ketones to monitor ketogenic diet (KD).
Method: In 33 patients on KD we measured ketosis in two different ways. At the 3-monthly visits to the clinic we measured BHB in capillary blood obtained by finger-prick and the level of ketones in the urine using a urine dipstick. If the patient was able to collect urine, the urinary ketones were also measured every day at home. We compared the degree of ketosis with seizure reduction.
Results: BHB measured during the 3-monthly visits correlated with seizure reduction at 3 and 6 months (p=0.037 and 0.019, respectively). Urinary ketones measured at the same time did not correlate at any visit. The averaged values of the daily measured ketones in the urine did not correlate either.
Conclusions: BHB correlates better with seizure reduction than do ketones in urine. It is, therefore, better to use BHB to monitor KD even if BHB is measured less frequently than urinary ketones.
Copyright 2009 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.