Understanding Creatine Kinase
What is Creatine Kinase?
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.
What is Creatine Kinase used for?
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
Interpreting Creatine Kinase 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*