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About the test
What is this test done for?
CPK stands for creatinine phosphokinase, which is a blood test that measures the total amount of CPK levels in the blood; and CPK-MB or CK-MB is a blood test that evaluates the amount of creatinine phosphokinase levels in the blood, released from the muscles of the heart.
Why is it Done?
  • CPK is a special test performed to assess damage to tissue in the brain, muscles or heart. When these tissues are damaged, creatinine phosphokinase leaks from tissue into the blood.
  • Whereas, CPK-MB is a special test performed to assess damage to tissue muscles of heart, when muscles of heart are damaged, CPK- MB leaks into the blood.
  • CPK helps in diagnosing conditions like chest pain, muscle pain or muscle damage, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, muscular dystrophy and stroke or cerebrovascular accidents. CPK-MB helps in diagnosing heart attack or chest pain (angina)
When should it be performed?

CPK is performed when a patients presents with symptoms of

  • Stroke
    • Dull headache
    • Sudden loss or blurring of vision
    • Paralysis of one side or both the sides of body
    • Confusion
    • Difficulty in understanding words
    • Difficulty in maintaining balance and co-ordination
    • Loss of consciousness
  • Polymyositis
    • Gradually worsening weakness of muscles
    • Muscles are painless but joint pain is present
    • Difficulty in swallowing and aspiration of food, if esophageal and pharyngeal muscles are involved
    • Characteristic rash on face, trunk and hand (seen in dermatomyositis)
  • Muscular dystrophy
    • Frequent falls
    • Difficulty in getting up from lying down or sitting position
    • Wadding gait
    • Trouble in running or jumping
    • Muscle pain and stiffness
    • Learning disabilities

CPK-MB is performed when a patient presents with symptoms of

  • Heart attack
    • Chest pain, that is going to arm (especially left arm) or neck
    • Vomiting
    • Profuse sweating
    • Difficulty in breathing
    • Giddiness
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special preparations like fasting required.

The test result of CPK is normal, if levels are 10 – 120 µg/L. It means

  • No injury to muscles, heart or brain

The test results of CPK are high, if levels are above 120 µg/L. It means

  • Heart attack
  • Brain injury or stroke
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Myopathy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Dermatomyositis or polymyositis
  • Electric shock
  • Delirium tremens
  • Myocarditis
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Rhabdomylosis

The levels are also high in case of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism and pericarditis.

The test result of CPK-MB is normal, if levels are below 7.7 ng/mL (in males) and below 4.3 ng/mL (in females). It means

  • No injury heart or no heart attack

The test results are high, if levels are above 10 ng/mL. It means

  • Heart attack
  • Angina
Other Tests
  • CK isozymes
    • It is a specialized blood test carried out to differentiate the cause of injury
    • It includes evaluation of CK-MB, CK-BB and CK-MM
    • High levels of CK MB indicate heart attack
    • High levels of CK BB indicate brain injury or stroke
    • High levels of CK MM indicate muscle injury
  • Troponin I & Troponin T
    • It is a specialized blood test carried out to evaluate Trop I & trop T levels in the blood
    • High levels of Trop I & Trop T indicate heart attack
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