Intra- and inter-subject variability for increases in serum ketone bodies in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with the sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor canagliflozin

David Polidori, Hiroaki Iijima, Maki Goda, Nobuko Maruyama, Nobuya Inagaki, Peter A. Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have been associated with increased serum ketone body levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the present analysis we evaluated serum ketone body levels and variability in 1278 Japanese patients with T2DM treated with canagliflozin 100 or 200 mg. Similar mean increases in ketone body concentrations of ~2-fold were seen with both canagliflozin doses. The median (interquartile range) percent change from baseline was 62% (0;180) for acetoacetate and 78% (2;236) for β-hydroxybutyrate. Approximately two-thirds of the variability in each ketone measure was attributed to intra-subject variability. Intra-subject variability was higher for serum ketones than other metabolites. Patients in the lowest response tertile exhibited no increase in ketones. Those in the highest response tertile tended to be male and have higher fasting plasma glucose levels, lower insulin levels, and longer T2DM duration at baseline. Moreover, changes in serum ketones were not fully explained by changes in plasma fatty acids, suggesting downstream effects of SGLT2 inhibition on hepatic metabolism that favour ketogenesis. In summary, increases in serum ketone bodies with canagliflozin were greater and more variable than changes in other metabolic measures in Japanese patients with T2DM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1326
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018



  • SGLT2 inhibitor
  • canagliflozin
  • type 2 diabetes

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