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Understanding the Test
Test Measures
Interpreting Results
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Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
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Dr. Ashish Ranjan
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
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Creatine Kinase

Also known as Creatine Phosphokinase, Phosphokinase CPK
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This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation is required.

Understanding Creatine Kinase

What is Creatine Kinase?

A Creatine Kinase test measures the levels of creatine kinase in your blood. This enzyme is a high-energy substance used by our body to generate energy. It is found in our skeletal muscle, heart muscle, and brain. When any of these tissues are damaged, they release creatine kinase into your bloodstream. Repeated testing may also help monitor muscle damage or detect a subsequent or second heart attack early on.

Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme that is predominantly found in your skeletal muscle, heart muscle, and brain. Under normal conditions, its levels in the blood are very low or undetectable. However, when the muscles experience damage, in certain conditions like heart attack, or skeletal muscle injuries, the CK levels in the blood may significantly rise. 

The appearance of CK in blood has been generally considered to be an important marker of muscle damage and by analyzing the levels of creatine kinase, doctors can assess the extent of muscle damage and initiate timely treatment.

Consider getting a Creatine Kinase test if you experience symptoms like chest pain, muscle aches, and weakness, breathlessness, profuse sweating, etc. This test is also recommended to detect conditions like a heart attack and various muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy (a group of diseases leading to muscle loss and weakness with time), dermatomyositis (inflammation of the muscles and skin), polymyositis (an inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness), and other muscle disorders like breakdown of muscles (rhabdomyolysis), muscle contractions leading to prolonged seizures (fits), etc.

Usually, no special preparation is needed before undergoing a Creatine Kinase test. However, it is important to tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you are taking as certain medications can affect your test results. Additionally, it is advised to avoid any strenuous exercise or alcohol consumption a few hours before the test as these factors can interfere with the test results. 

Reference ranges are approximate and may vary based on factors such as age, gender, medical history, etc. Abnormal test results require an expert interpretation; therefore, never try to self-medicate at home based solely on these results, and always consult a doctor for a proper understanding of the test results.  

What is Creatine Kinase used for?

A Creatine Kinase test is done: 

  • In case of muscle weakness, muscle aches, and muscle injury

  • To detect myocardial infarction (heart attack)

  • To help detect a second or subsequent heart attack

  • If a person experiences dark-colored urine for a prolonged duration of time; a tingling sensation, numbness, or balance problem; seizures or convulsions

  • To monitor the persistence, progression, or resolution of muscle injury

What does Creatine Kinase measure?

Creatine kinase is a type of enzyme found in muscles, especially in heart muscles. It is of three types: CK-MM (found mostly in your skeletal muscles), CK-MB (found mostly in your heart muscle), and CK-BB (found mostly in your brain tissue).

CK levels typically rise sharply within 3 to 5 hours after a heart attack, reach a maximum level after 12-14 hours, and return to normal range after 3-4 days after a heart attack. Doctors often repeat this test to check the CK levels after some time.

Interpreting Creatine Kinase results


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*

  • 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 

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Creatine Kinase

Frequently Asked Questions about Creatine Kinase

Q. What is the Creatine Kinase test?

The Creatine Kinase test is a blood test that measures the level of the creatine kinase enzyme, which is released into the blood in case of a muscle injury. The test helps in diagnosing various muscular diseases, skeletal muscle injuries, and heart conditions, particularly a heart attack.

Q. Why do I need a Creatine Kinase test?

You may need a Creatine Kinase test if you have symptoms suggestive of muscle injury such as muscle or joint pain, muscle weakness, frequent falling, swelling of feet/legs, and persistently dark-colored urine. Also, if you have symptoms of Heart attack like chest pain, breathlessness, profuse sweating, etc.

Q. How is a Creatine Kinase test performed?

A phlebotomist (a trained professional to perform blood tests) will clean your skin using an antiseptic alcohol cotton swab or wipe and take blood samples from your vein using a sterilized syringe and needle. The collected blood sample will be labeled, stored safely, and transported to the laboratory for analysis.

Q. Is there any risk associated with a Creatine Kinase test?

No, Creatine Kinase test is generally safe with minimal risks. However, you may feel slight discomfort during blood sample collection but chances of serious complications are extremely rare.

Q. Is fasting required for a Creatine Kinase test?

No, fasting is not required for a Creatine Kinase test. You can get this test at any time.

Q. How often should I get tested?

The frequency of testing will depend on your doctor's advice, based on your symptoms and risk factors.

Q. What precaution should I take before a Creatine Kinase test?

It is advised to avoid any strenuous physical activity or alcohol consumption a few hours before the test, as it can affect the levels of CK in your blood and interfere with the test results.

Q. What does a high creatine kinase level mean?

If your creatine kinase level is higher than normal, it usually means you have some type of muscle damage.

Q. What is the function of the creatine kinase?

Creatine kinase plays a crucial role in energy production from muscles. It helps in converting creatine and phosphocreatine, which is used as a source of energy for muscle contractions.

Q. How do levels of creatine kinase help detect a heart attack?

After a heart attack, the muscles of the heart are damaged which raises the levels of creatine kinase in the blood and helps to detect a heart attack. This test may therefore help in detecting a second or subsequent heart attack early on and help prevent any life-threatening complications by timely management of the patient's condition.

Q. What is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis refers to the rapid breakdown of muscle tissue. It may happen due to trauma, crushing injuries, high voltage electrical shock, serious burns, thrombosis, and toxins (e.g., heavy metals, snake venom, and carbon monoxide).
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Creatine Kinase test price for other cities

Price inBangaloreRs. 299
Price inMumbaiRs. 299
Price inGurgaonRs. 299
Price inKolkataRs. 299
Price inPuneRs. 299
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