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The creatine 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 tissues.
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 conditions:
It’s also used to differentiate between postoperative infection and malignant hyperthermia, which is a fast rise in body temperature.
The creatine phosphokinase level is usually measured in a blood sample taken by a healthcare professional. The blood test usually involves these steps:
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.
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:
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.
Written by: Karla Blocka
Medically reviewed on: Dec 11, 2015: Steven Kim, MD
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