What is CPK?

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CPK is an acronym for the phrase Creatine Phospokinase, which is a blood test. It refers to an enzyme present specifically in the muscles, including those in the muscles. A muscle damage or injury can result in an increase to levels of CPK in the blood. For instance, one is likely to have a high level of CPK after a fall or in case of a heart attack. Muscle inflammation referred to a myositis causes CPK levels to rise. Individuals with myositis experience pain, muscle weakness and aches. In some people, CPK levels are consistently high due to reduced CPK excretion through kidneys. This condition is very common among persons who suffer from kidney disease. Intake of the statin medication is one of the leading causes on high CPK levels in the blood. This occurrences are very common forcing doctors not to order routine CPK tests if the patient has taken statin. However, when a person has muscle aches and has taken statin, a CPK test helps in determining whether statin dosage should be lowered or stopped altogether. Such a person faced the risk of developing rhabdomyolysis, a condition characterized by serious muscle breakdown. This ailment can easily lead to failure of kidneys.

The CPK Isoenzymes

Enzymes are complicated proteins that enable chemical changes to take place in the human body. They are necessary for the body to function. CPK isoenzymes test helps measure the level of an enzyme referred to as the creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in the blood. CPK may be divided into three categories. CPK-1 occurs mostly in the lungs and brain. CPK-2 is derived from the heart while CPK-3 is found in the skeletal muscle. If these body parts are damaged by disease or injury, the CPK isoenzymes are released into the bloodstream. Checking the amount of the enzyme in the blood helps doctors know what body part is damaged.

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