Ketone bodies including acetone are disease biomarkers for diabetes that sometimes causes severe ketoacidosis. The present study was undertaken to clarify the significance of exhaled acetone and plasma ketone bodies at bedside in a clinical setting. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in 10 healthy Japanese volunteers (five females and five males). Exhaled breath acetone and volatile sulfide compounds (VSCs) in mouth air were measured simultaneously with blood sampling during the OGTT using a portable gas chromatograph equipped with an In2O3 thick-film type gas sensor and a VSC monitor. Acetone, β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc) in blood plasma as well as glucose and insulin were examined. Oral conditions were examined based on the Community Periodontal Index (CPI) by one dentist. In addition, the same type of analysis was applied to two uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus patients hospitalized at Tohoku University Hospital. Exhaled acetone was measured at the same time as blood withdrawal in the morning before breakfast and at night before bed at the beginning, the middle, and the end of hospitalization. All volunteers showed normal OGTT patterns with no ketonuria and periodontitis; however, there were significant correlations between breath acetone and plasma β-Oβ and between breath acetone and plasma AcAc under fasting conditions. Breath acetone of the type 2 diabetes mellitus patients showed positive correlations with plasma glucose when the level of plasma glucose tended to decrease during hospitalization. In spite of a very limited number of cases, our results support the idea that exhaled breath acetone may be related to plasma β-OHB and AcAc, which reflect glucose metabolism in the body.
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