Creatine Kinase (CK), Total

The Creatine Kinase (CK), Total test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Description: Creatine Kinase is a test that is measuring for the level of CK in the blood’s serum. CK is found in the heart tissue and the skeletal muscle. This test can be used to determine if there has been damage done to the muscles.

Also Known As: CK Test, Total Ck Test, Creatine Phosphokinase, CPK Test, CPK Level

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

Average Processing Time: 1 to 2 days

When is a Creatine Kinase Total test ordered?

When muscle injury is suspected, a CK test may be requested, as well as at regular intervals to monitor for continuing damage. When a muscle illness, such as muscular dystrophy, is suspected, or when someone has suffered physical trauma, such as crushing injuries or major burns, it may be ordered. The test may be ordered if a person is experiencing symptoms of muscular damage, such as:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Urine that is dark in color

When a person has nonspecific symptoms, testing may be recommended, especially if they are using a drug or have been exposed to a substance that has been associated to potential muscle damage.

What does a Creatine Kinase Total blood test check for?

The enzyme creatine kinase is found in the brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and other organs. When there is muscle injury, more CK is released into the bloodstream. The quantity of creatine kinase in the blood is measured in this test.

Skeletal muscles produce the little quantity of CK that is routinely found in the blood. An increase in CK can be caused by any disorder that causes muscular injury and/or interferes with muscle energy generation or usage. Strenuous activity and muscle inflammation, known as myositis, as well as muscle illnesses such muscular dystrophy, can raise CK levels. Rhabdomyolysis, or the severe breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, is linked to a large increase in CK levels.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatine Kinase Total test:

  • CK-MB
  • Myoglobin
  • Troponin
  • Lipid Panel
  • Hs-CRP
  • Homocysteine
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility

Conditions where a Creatine Kinase Total test is recommended:

  • Endocrine System and Syndromes
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Heart Attack

How does my health care provider use a Creatine Kinase Total test?

A creatine kinase test can be used to detect muscle inflammation or damage caused by muscle illnesses such muscular dystrophy, or to help diagnose rhabdomyolysis if signs and symptoms are present. Other blood chemistry tests, such as electrolytes, BUN, or creatinine, may be conducted in addition to CK. A urine myoglobin test may be requested as well.

Muscle injury can present with few or vague symptoms such as weakness, fever, and nausea, which can also be associated with a range of other illnesses. In these circumstances, a healthcare practitioner may utilize a CK test to detect muscle injury, particularly if the person is taking a statin, using ethanol or cocaine, or has been exposed to a known toxin linked to probable muscle damage. A CK test may be used to assess and monitor muscle damage in those who have been physically injured.

Muscle injury can be tracked using a series of CK tests to evaluate if it improves or worsens. If a CK is increased and the site of muscle damage is unknown, a healthcare provider may order CK isoenzymes or a CK-MB as follow-up tests to differentiate between the three forms of CK: CK-MB, CK-MM, and CK-BB.

The CK test was originally one of the most common tests used to diagnose a heart attack, but the troponin test has mostly superseded it in the United States. The CK test, on the other hand, may be used to detect a second heart attack that occurs soon after the first.

What do my Creatine Kinase test results mean?

A high CK level, or a spike in levels in subsequent samples, often suggests that muscle injury has occurred recently, although it does not identify the location or origin of the damage. Serial test findings that peak and then begin to decline indicate that new muscle damage has subsided, whereas increasing and persistent elevations indicate that new muscle damage has persisted.

Increased CK levels can be detected in a range of muscular disorders caused by a variety of factors. Depending on the severity of muscle damage, people's CK levels may be significantly to severely elevated. Rhabdomyolysis patients may have CK levels that are 100 times higher than usual, and in some cases even higher.

Normal CK levels could mean there hasn't been any muscle injury or that it happened a few days before the test.

Following severe exercise, such as weight lifting, contact sports, or long exercise sessions, moderately elevated CK levels may be observed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: CK (Total), CPK, CPK (Total), Creatine Kinase CK Total, Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK), Total CK

Creatine Kinase, Total

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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