Diseases – Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

CPK Blood Test


A CPK blood test is carried out to determine the levels of Creatine Phosphokinase in cases of muscle injuries. The procedure of this test is as any other. It is extremely useful in detecting as well as treating serious bodily injuries.


Blood analysis can say a lot about a person’s health. It is a good medium to detect various deficiencies, diseases and illnesses. Different types of blood tests are carried out in hospitals. One such is the CPK blood test. It can indicate the level of damage caused in muscle dystrophy patients and help detect early dermatomyositis and polymyositis. The CPK blood test can also help diagnose heart attacks and neurological disorders.


What is CPK blood test?

Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is an enzyme found primarily in the heart, skeletal muscles and brain. The primary function of this enzyme is to convert Creatine into phosphate, which then gets consumed or burned up as a quick energy source by the cells of the body. In healthy adults, CPK blood test normal levels are somewhere around 12-80 ml (30 degrees) or 55-170 ml (37 degrees). In women these levels are slightly lower.

However, the levels of CPK enzyme shoot up in the event of muscle damage. The cells burst open and spill out their contents into the bloodstream thereby raising the CPK levels. A test checks for the level of the enzyme present in the blood.

Elevated CPK levels suggest muscle damage—even that may be occurring during the time anywhere in the body. It is therefore an indicator of muscle injury, muscle dystrophy, malignant hyperthermia, myocarditis, myocardial infarction, rhabdomyolysis or myositis. CPK levels are found to increase after a strenuous exercise.

Heart and brain cells function in a similar manner. Since the type of CPK in them differs from that in the skeletal muscles (CPK-2, CPK-1 and CPK-3), it is easy to identify where the damage has taken place by determining the type of CPK found in the blood. CPK levels are similarly found to shoot up 3-4 hours following a heart attack. By analyzing the timing of rise and fall in CPK levels, one can also predict the occurrence of heart attacks to some extent.

For a blood sample procedure to assess a CPK test, the doctor inserts a hypodermic needle into the vein of the elbow or back of the hand. Blood is collected in the vial attached to the needle and is then sent to the laboratory for testing levels of CPK. The test results indicate the health of the patient.

On occasions, the test is carried out repeatedly to ascertain the correct CPK levels.

The patient should avoid any sort of strenuous exercise prior to a blood test. Low CPK levels indicate rheumatoid arthritis and alcoholic liver disease.

Thus, a CPK blood test helps diagnose several medical conditions and their successful treatment before further damage.

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