Test Detail
Interpreting Results
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Content created by
Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Creatine Kinase MB

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This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required


What is Creatine Kinase MB?

Creatine Kinase MB (CK-MB) test measures the amount of CK-MB enzyme. They are mostly found in heart muscles and elevated level of CK-MB is an indication of heart damage or heart attack. It also monitors the efficacy of ongoing heart treatment.

This test is recommended in case of symptoms such as pain in chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and sudden sweating. Normal range of CK-MB 5-25 IU/L.

Why is CPK-MB done?

  • To diagnose a heart attack

  • To diagnose subsequent heart attacks

  • To monitor heart damage

What does CPK-MB Measure?

CK MB is a form of the enzyme which means it is an isoenzyme of Creatine kinase (CK). Other isoenzymes include CK MM and CK BB. While CK MM is found in skeletal muscles and heart, CK BB is found in the brain and smooth muscles. At the time of muscle damage, the cells of muscles release CK, which can be traced in blood. In normal conditions, CK MM can be detected in blood in small amounts, but CK BB cannot be detected in the blood. CK MB is detected in case there is an injury to the heart. This test is done to determine whether the damage is in the heart or in skeletal muscles. The levels of CK MB rise within  3-6 hours of chest pain during a heart attack. These levels rise to the maximum level in 12-24 hours and then come back to normal after 48-72 hours. In case, a person is going to have a subsequent heart attack, the levels of CK MB remain elevated.

Rise of CK MB levels can also be due to any physical damage to heart muscles from trauma, inflammation, surgery, and ischemia (decreased oxygen). High levels of CK MB can be due to kidney failure as well. Strenuous exercises can also increase CK levels, but the CK-MB remains low in that case. Low thyroid hormone levels, alcohol abuse, and chronic muscle disease can rarely cause an elevation in CK MB levels. There are some other factors such as infections, diseases, and drugs that cause injury or inflammation of the muscles which can result in a release of CK MB into the blood.

Interpreting CPK-MB results



Reference Range


< 171 U/L


< 145 U/L

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CPK-MB

Frequently Asked Questions about Creatine Kinase MB

Q. Is chest pain always a symptom of heart attack?
No, having chest pain does not always mean that you are having a heart attack. Chest pain can be due to other reasons such as strain in chest muscles and lung problems. Apart from that, chest pain can also mean that your arteries are getting hardened. If pain in the chest occurs during exercise or stress, it is known as angina. The pain continues for few minutes and then stops. But, you should never ignore chest pain and must always consult a doctor as early as possible.
Q. Does rise in levels of CK MB means that my heart muscles are damaged?
The rise in levels of CK MB can also be due to damage to skeletal muscles. However, sometimes there is damage to both skeletal and heart muscles.
Q. Any additional tests are required after CK MB tests?
Yes, the doctor can advise ECG. If your CK MB levels are raised, the doctor may advise angiography, exercise stress test, cardiac CT or MRI, and Troponin T test.
Q. What steps should be taken to avoid any heart problems?
To keep your heart healthy, the most important thing is to maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet, avoid fried foods, exercise regularly, go for regular medical check-ups, control stress, avoid smoke, and avoid heavy alcohol consumption.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. Is there any special preparation required for the test?
No, there is no special preparation required for the test.
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