What is CK?
Creatinine Kinase test is used to measure the amount of creatine kinase (CK) in the blood. CK is an enzyme found primarily in the brain, skeletal muscles, and heart. A CK test is usually done in case of muscle weakness and muscle aches. It may also aid in diagnosing a heart attack. Also, a CK test may be advised if a person experiences dark-colored urine for a longer duration of time.
High CK levels can indicate recent muscle damage. Significant increase in CK levels may depend on the severity of muscle damage. Moderately increased CK levels may be due to strenuous exercises such as weight lifting or long exercise sessions.
Why is CK done?
The Creatine Kinase Test is done:
In case of muscle weakness and muscle aches
In the case of dark urine
To monitor for muscle injury resolution
To detect myocardial infarction
What does CK Measure?
The Creatine Kinase Test measures the levels of Creatine Kinase in the blood. Creatine Kinase (CK) is an enzyme which is found in the brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and other tissues. In case of muscle damage, increased amounts of CK are released into the blood.
In the blood, normally small amount of CK is present which comes from the skeletal muscles primarily. In case of any damage to the muscle or interference with the production of muscle, energy can lead to increased levels of CK. Also, these levels may rise if there is any change with the use of muscle energy. The examples of such conditions include strenuous exercise and myositis (inflammation of muscles).
Muscle diseases (myopathies) such as muscle dystrophy can also lead to an increase in the levels of CK. However, significantly high levels of CK are observed in Rhabdomyolysis which there is an extreme breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue.
Interpreting CK results
- A high Creatinine Kinase (CK) generally indicates that there has been recent muscle damage but does not indicate it's exact cause and location. Serial test results that peak and then begin to drop indicate that new muscle damage has diminished while increasing or persistent elevations suggest continued damage
- Chest pain and increased CK levels indicate that it is likely that a person has recently had a heart attack
- Moderately increased levels may be seen after strenuous exercise, weight lifting
- Normal Ck levels indicate that there has been no muscle damage
The levels for Creatine Kinase in males are usually less than 171 U/L and in females are less than 145 U/L.
Reference range may vary from lab to lab*
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CK
Frequently Asked Questions about Creatine Kinase