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CPK (Total)

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 enzyme CPK levels in the blood.
Why is it Done?
This 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.It helps in diagnosing conditions like heart attack, chest pain, muscle pain or muscle damage, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, muscular dystrophy and stroke or cerebrovascular accidents.
When should it be performed?

This test is performed when a patients 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
  • 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
    • Waddling gait
    • Trouble in running or jumping
    • Muscle pain and stiffness
    • Learning disabilities
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 is normal, if levels are 10 – 120 µg/L. It means

  • No injury to muscles, heart or brain

The test results are high, if levels are > 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.

False positivity might be seen in patients who have recently undergone a surgery, after a heavy exercise or cardiac catheterization or after an intramuscular injection.

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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