Timmons John A.; Myer, Peter; Maturen, Andrew; Webster, Robert; Schaller, Elizabeth; Leikin, Jerrold; Barkin, RobertAmerican Journal of Therapeutics: May 1998 ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PDF Only Buy Abstract The impact of a new test on the market, the β-hydroxybutyric acid (BOH) assay, on clinical decision-making in the emergency department (ED) has not been well studied. In this retrospective analysis, we studied the potential benefit of this new test in the ED decision-making process in diabetic patients. BOH levels were measured on all patients who had glucose and acetone levels ordered by the emergency physician during a 3-month period in the ED of a university tertiary referral center. Two groups were analyzed: group 1 was acetone-positive and BOH-positive (n = 13); group 2 was acetone-negative BOH-positive (n = 31). There was no difference between the two groups in terms of gender (p = 0.55) or age (p = 0.47). The length of stay (p = 0.97) and number of complications (p = 0.89) were also similar between the two groups. Conclusion: This study suggests that in those diabetic patients with a negative acetone test and a positive BOH test, the addition of the positive result on the BOH test may provide additional prognostic information for predicting hospital length of stay and number of in-hospital complications. © Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.