Creatine Phosphokinase Test
phosphokinase test ;measures the amount of creatine phosphokinase
(CPK) present in the blood. The test is also known as a creatine kinase test,
CPK test, or CK test.
Creatine phosphokinase is
a specific enzyme found primarily in the heart, skeletal muscle, and brain
The creatine phosphokinase test is performed to assess damage to
tissue in the brain, muscle tissue, or heart. When tissue is damaged, creatine
phosphokinase leaks from tissue into the blood.
The test is used to diagnose and evaluate the following
- a heart attack
- chest pain
- muscle damage
- early dermatomyositis, which is a muscle and
connective tissue disease
- polymyositis, which causes inflammation of the
- muscular dystrophy
It’s also used to differentiate between postoperative infection
and malignant hyperthermia, which is a fast rise in body temperature.
How Is the Creatine Phosphokinase Test
The creatine phosphokinase level is usually measured in a blood
sample taken by a healthcare professional. The blood test usually involves
- They’ll wrap an elastic band around your upper
arm to stop the flow of blood. This also causes the veins in your arm to become
more visible, so the needle can be more easily inserted.
- Alcohol is used to clean the site on your skin
where the needle will be inserted.
- The needle is inserted into your vein. This may
cause a brief pinching or stinging sensation, or you may not feel anything at
- They’ll attach a tube to the needle to collect blood.
Sometimes, more than one tube is needed.
- The elastic band is removed after enough blood
has been collected.
- As the needle is removed from your skin, cotton
or gauze is placed on the site of the injection.
- Pressure is applied to the area, and a bandage
is used to secure the cotton or gauze.
As the needle is inserted into the vein, you may feel a stinging
or pinching sensation, mild discomfort, or you may feel nothing at all.
After the blood has been collected, the sample is sent to a lab
so the level of creatine phosphokinase in the blood can be measured. If you’re
an inpatient in the hospital, the test may be repeated over a few days.
Risks Associated with the Creatine
When high levels of creatine phosphokinase are detected in the
blood, it’s considered to be an abnormal result. High levels of the enzyme may
occur due to the following conditions:
- a heart attack
- pericarditis after a heart attack
- polymyositis or dermatomyositis
- heart muscle inflammation
- myopathy, which is a disease of the muscles
- rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown of muscle
- a muscular dystrophy
- an electric shock
- a stroke
- a brain injury
- delirium tremens, which is caused by alcohol
- hypothyroidism, which is characterized by an underactive
- hyperthyroidism, which is characterized by an overactive
- the death of lung tissue
The creatine phosphokinase test has few, if any, risks. It’s an
important test for a number of conditions. Talk to your doctor if you’re going to
have this test and you’re concerned about the process or potential outcomes.