CPK Test

Also known as Creatine Kinase Total Spectrophotometric Method Blood
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What is this test?

This test is used to measure the levels of creatine kinase in the blood. This test is done in emergency conditions if you experience any symptoms of a heart attack.

What is creatine kinase?

Creatine kinase is a type of enzyme found in muscles especially in heart muscles. It is of three types: CPK-1 (CK-BB), CPK-2 (CK-MB), CPK-3 (CK-MM). CPK-1 is mainly found in the lungs and brain. CPK-2 is found in the heart. CPK-3 is found in skeletal muscles. The damage to muscles or muscle injury can increase the levels of creatine kinase. When there is a problem with heart then the creatine kinase levels will be high. If a person experiences fall, then also the creatine kinase levels will be raised in the blood. Myositis a condition in which inflammation of the muscles occurs, in such cases the creatine kinase levels will be more. In myositis condition, individual will experience muscle pains and weakness. In a few cases, creatine kinase levels will be high due to the failure of kidneys to excrete the enzyme. This is common in individuals with kidney disease.

Why is this test performed?

CPK isoenzymes test may be recommended to you if you experience symptoms like chest pain, muscle aches, and weakness, breathlessness, profuse sweating, etc. This test is also recommended to diagnose conditions like heart attack and various muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy (this is a condition in which a group of diseases leads to muscle loss and weakness over a period of time), dermatomyositis (inflammation of the muscles and skin), polymyositis (inflammatory disease which causes muscle weakness), malignant hyperthermia (inherited disease which causes contraction of the muscles), other muscle disorders like breakdown of muscles, muscle contractions leading to prolonged seizures, etc.


Certain factors may interfere with your test results such as IM injections (intramuscular), recent surgeries, heavy exercise, cardiac catheterization, electromyography (a procedure which is used to test nerve and muscle function). Some medications also cause high levels of CPK in your blood they are, statins, steroids, amphotericin B, anesthetics, etc. Taking alcohol or cocaine before undergoing this test may also disturb your test results.

Also known as CK - Total Spectrophotometric method Blood, CPK - Total, Creatine Phosphokinase Total Spectrophotometric method Blood, Serum CPK Test, CK - Total, Creatine Kinase Total, Creatine Phosphokinase Total, Serum CPK.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your CPK Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for CPK Test.

No specific preparation is required for CPK isoenzymes test.

Understanding your test results

The reference range may vary depending on the gender, age, health history, your condition, etc.

If your CPK-1 test results are higher than the normal reference range, then it may indicate brain cancer or brain injury or stroke (which leads to bleeding in the brain) or seizures or pulmonary infarction (a condition in which death of lung tissue occurs due to an insufficient blood supply.

If your CPK-2 test results are higher, it may be due to an injury to the heart, heart attack, cardiac defibrillation (electrical shock used to fix rhythm of the heart), inflammation of the heart, etc. CPK-2 levels may also be elevated in open heart surgery conditions and also in heart defibrillation (a procedure in which shock is given to the heart). After 48 hours of getting a heart attack, the CPK-2 levels will fall back.

If your CPK-3 levels are higher, then it may be due to crushing injury (squeezed between two objects), immobility for a longer duration, inflammation of muscle or damage of muscle due to illegal drug use. CPK-3 levels are also elevated in conditions such as seizures, muscle trauma due to surgery or participating in sports or if you had burns, muscular dystrophy, etc.

If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your test results.

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FEMALEAll age groups38 - 176U/L
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