The cowside determination of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is an important tool for diagnosing subclinical ketosis in dairy cattle. Portable methods to measure BHB have been introduced in the past years. This study evaluated the accuracy of two hand-held electronic devices for blood determination of BHB in dairy cows at early postpartum. A total of 98 blood samples were collected from dairy cows in the first month of lactation and tested with FreeStyle Optium (FSO, Abbott) and KetoVet (KVE, TaiDoc) portable devices according to the manufacturer instructions. Spectrophotometric BHB analysis (Ranbut, Randox) was used as standard method. The incidence of subclinical ketosis was 37.7 % determined by the standard method, 40.8 % determined by the FSO system and 42.8 % detected with the KVE system. The sensitivity and specificity indexes were 88.1% and 98.4% for FSO and 78.7% and 92.4% for KVE, respectively. The Pearson´s correlation coefficients comparing the portable devices to the standard technique were 0.96 for FSO and 0.93 for KVE. No significant difference in BHB values was found between the two portable tests and the standard method. Predictive values (PV) were better using FSO (positive PV 97.3 %, negative PV 92.4%) than using KVE (positive PV 88.1 %, negative PV 85.9 %). Passing-Bablok regressions revealed good agreement between methods. Though FSO system had a better performance than KVE system, the results suggest that the two portable systems have good accuracy and are reliable for measuring BHB.
ketosis; predictive value; sensitivity; specificity