CPK Lab (Creatine Phosphokinase) Test

CPK Lab Creatine Phosphokinase Test

First time customer? Read How Discounted Labs Works 

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT DISCOUNTED LABS SERVICES: We currently serve the following states:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Other states will be added in the coming months, so please subscribe to our newsletter on the website footer to be notified.

CPK is creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. High CPK can indicate muscle destruction, heart attacks, and central nervous system issues. Long-term exposure to high CPK can load up your kidneys and cause muscle loss and weakness. Sometimes we have no symptoms when CPK is high, but most of the time, we have body aches and soreness. Resistance training can raise CPK, so stop working out for at least five days before the CPK test.

CPK Lab Test: Everything You Need to Know


CPK is creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. High CPK can indicate muscle destruction, heart attacks, and central nervous system issues. Long-term exposure to high CPK can load up your kidneys and cause muscle loss and weakness. Sometimes we have no symptoms when CPK is high, but most of the time, we have body aches and soreness. Resistance training, such as vigorous exercise, can raise CPK, so stop working out for at least five days before the CPK test.

CPK brings about specific chemical changes in your body, indicating stress or injury to your heart or other muscles when the levels are high. High levels of CPK may indicate muscle damage or inflammation, while low levels may be a sign of certain health conditions, such as liver disease or malnutrition. The interpretation of a CPK blood test may vary depending on the individual's medical history and other factors, so it is important to consult a healthcare provider for accurate results.

This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of creatinine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to phosphocreatine and adenosine diphosphate (ADP). This reaction is reversible, meaning ATP can be synthesized from the myocardium and skeletal muscle concentrations.

Creatine phosphokinase has a dimeric structure and comes in four forms: cytosolic isoenzymes with the three fractions CK-MM (muscle creatine kinase), CK-MB (myocardial creatine kinase), CK-BB (brain creatine kinase), and mitochondrial isoenzyme.

Given that there is no pathology, the MM isoenzyme primarily represents the total creatine kinase level. For instance, the CK-MB isoenzyme provides the level in the case of myocardial infarction.

What is the CPK Lab Test and How Does it Work?

This test is used to determine the creatine kinase in your blood. Physicians usually recommend mainly representing someone who has suffered a recent injury.

The test is also used to evaluate the cause of chest pain or if a person`s diagnosis is unclear. For example, if a person has nonspecific symptoms such as difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, dizziness, or nausea.

Doctors use this test to investigate skeletal muscle disorders (muscular dystrophies) and diagnose myocardial infarction and stroke.

Creatine kinase is not supposed to be measured after intense efforts or in the presence of any other cause of a possible increase in CK, making it difficult to interpret the results.

If the CK values are significantly high at baseline, levels must be measured again within 5 to 7 days to confirm the results. 

The test does not require special preparation. However, you should consider that some medicines, along with alcohol and drugs and an intense workout, can increase CK levels, and your doctor should be aware if you consume any.

As for the procedure, the test is no different from any other. A healthcare provider will follow the standard venipuncture procedure, and no side effects or pain should follow. Usually, it is recommended to take the test before breakfast for a more accurate result.

Normal Laboratory Levels for Creatine Kinase

Until now, there is no general agreement on the normal range for creatine kinase. Some laboratories use different measurement levels and samples.

Creatine kinase is a molecule found predominantly in the cell where it functions. However, it is possible to find the enzyme circulating in the blood in a range not exceeding 200 U / L.

Normal CK values ​​may vary depending on age, gender, race, constitution, and physical activity. In general, it is slightly higher in men. The reference value ranges between 10 to 120 mcg/L.

It is recommended not to interpret the results alone but to discuss them with a doctor. They will analyze your history and your results.

What do Elevated CPK Levels Indicate?

Very high creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels usually indicate damage to the heart and brain. Determining specific isoenzymes in the blood helps diagnose—for example, an increase in the CK-MB isoenzyme diagnosis of myocardial infarction.

Therefore, this total enzyme and its isoenzyme lab panel are used to:

  • Diagnosis of myocardial infarction
  • Evaluation of the cause of chest pain
  • Determining if and to what extent the muscle is affected
  • Early determination—a form of dermatomyositis and polymyositis
  • Makes the differential diagnosis between postoperative infection and post-anesthesia hypercatabolic state

Elevated CPK levels could be a sign of:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart inflammation
  • Myopathy
  • Tissue disease
  • Muscle dystrophy or severe muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis
  • Excessive exercise
  • A medication side effect

Discounted Labs also sells a CPK Total Plus Isoenzymes Test, which includes three main categories: CPK 1, CPK 2, and CPK 3. Each of these categories is associated with specific organs and body parts. In other words, you'll find more of a particular CPK isoenzyme in specific organs and less in the rest of the body.

If CPK 1 or CK-BB (found in the brain and lungs) is elevated, it is likely to be:

  • Stroke
  • Brain cancer
  • Brain injury
  • Seizures or heart attacks
  • Pulmonary infarction

If CPK 2 or CK-MB (found in the heart) levels are high, it may be a sign of:

  • Heart attack
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle
  • The side effect of an electric injury
  • Open-heart intervention
  • Myocarditis as a side effect of virus contamination

Other problems that can cause a higher CPK tissue result are myocarditis (inflammation), injury, surgery, and defibrillation.

In the case of a heart attack, values will usually return to normal within 48 hours if there is no additional muscle damage.

Finally, if the CPK 3 or CK-MM (found in skeletal muscle) concentration is above average, it may be a sign of:

  • General muscle problems include muscle breakdown, inflammation, medical tests, or even strenuous exercise.
  • Recent seizures or surgeries
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Muscle damage as a side effect of being immobile for long-term rhabdomyolysis
  • Myositis: inflammation of the skeletal muscle

How Can You Lower the Creatine Kinase Levels?

As elevated creatine kinase may indicate a tissue injury or a sign of a disease, the first thing to consider is reaching out to a doctor for advice. You should also consider stopping the exhausting workout if so.

Even though the sport keeps our muscles and tonus in shape, it should be performed within the limits of your own body. Some studies suggest that specific categories of foods, such as carbs, antioxidants, and protein, can attenuate muscle damage.

Other studies suggest that sports massage can decrease CK levels if done 2 hours after an exhausting exercise session.

You should also take into consideration your weight. People diagnosed with obesity usually have high CPK levels. In this case, losing weight would be a good start.

There is no treatment to bring down CPK beyond corticoid steroids. If CPK gets high, doctors try to switch you to another medication if statins or other drugs cause it, but it is challenging for some patients to change since they may have no other options.

Some doctors prescribe corticoid steroids to reduce whatever the inflammation may be, but this is not a cure. Corticoid steroids can lower bone density and testosterone, cause water retention and fat gain, and are linked with joint bone death (necrosis), so they are an excellent option to stay on for the long term.

If you take statins with or without fibrates, high CPK may indicate muscle-related problems that these drugs can cause in some people, such as muscle weakness. Statins (with or without fibrates) can cause rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to the destruction of muscle tissue in a few patients and increase CPK. Some patients have anecdotally experienced muscle cramping, pain, or muscle weakness while taking statin medicines. If you are taking statin medicines and have unusual muscle cramping, pain, or weakness, your healthcare provider may also order a CK test. Statin medicines are used to treat high cholesterol. They sometimes cause serious muscle injuries. In very rare cases, they can even lead to a rapid, life-threatening muscle breakdown.

What Do Low CPK Levels Indicate?

Although most focus is on higher CPK blood test results, low CPK levels can also signify a health problem.

In alcohol-induced liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease, Cushing's disease, and acute viral hepatitis, creatinine phosphokinase levels may be lower than normal.

Also, physical inactivity, which often leads to muscle atrophy, is considered a cause of creatine kinase levels. Elders are most commonly affected by this.

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can dramatically reduce CPK levels because of the inflammation produced in the organism.

Women usually for CPK during their pregnancy should know that the CPK levels are reduced during the second trimester, just a temporary phase.

However, the CPK blood test is usually performed to detect higher levels to locate muscle damage. A lower-than-normal level is rare and, if found, is not a definitive indication of a problem.

It may be helpful because it will encourage more accurate testing to rule out or confirm a health diagnosis.

How can you Increase CPK Levels?

People with lower-than-normal CPK levels are more prone to fainting. This is a consequence of your heart and muscles not functioning properly. In a recent study with a sample of more than 350 people with low CPK, 70% were likely to faint.

Creatine kinase is, above all, a measure of muscle mass and the health of our muscles. Here, it must be considered that muscles are what sustain our skeletons, and if you take a look inside, our heart is a muscle as well, one that must be kept safe and trained. Low creatine kinase levels may eventually lead to a higher risk of death, as they can indicate skeletal muscle, heart, or brain damage or degeneration—either chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term). It is important to monitor creatine kinase levels through a creatine kinase (CK) test to ensure the proper functioning of our muscles and overall health.

Increasing creatine kinase is, above all, a measure of muscle mass. Here it must be considered that muscles are what sustain our skeletons, and if you take a look inside, our heart is a muscle as well, one that must be kept safe and trained. Low creatine kinase levels may eventually lead to a higher risk of death.

For this, you can start exercising more often, but moderately in terms of intensity. Make sure at the same time that the body has enough reserves of proteins to build muscle and help the recovery process.

When Should you Perform the Test?

Whenever the CPK levels are increased, it means that muscle tissue, the heart, or the brain have been damaged in some way.

You can consider associating this with a recent injury or muscle fracture. Also, if symptoms like chest pain, fainting, or general weakness start to appear, you may need to take the test. All these may be signs of a heart attack.

CPK is an enzyme and a protein that helps convert creatine to phosphate, which is burned for energy. The CPK will be released into the bloodstream in the event of an injury.

The treatment for the possible disorders varies depending on the event the patient went through.

The CPK treatment depends on what caused it to grow. As a high CPK level can indicate serious, sometimes fatal problems, it is highly recommended to perform the test. If you have any injuries or symptoms associated with the diseases listed above, please ask your doctor for help.

Order Your CPK Lab Test Now

The CPK test is a valuable and helpful instrument in diagnosing severe disorders that we can encounter. For more information and options to test CPK and many others, go to DiscountedLabs.com and select the lab near your location, such as your home or office, through an easy process. Do not hesitate or delay in taking control of your health today. The CPK blood test is just like other blood tests and does not require any fasting prior to the test, nor does it have any special requirements. However, a person needs to intimidate the doctor regarding any prescription medication or special drugs they are taking. Certain types of medications interfere with the proper CPK testing.



  1. Go to the "Find a Location" page to find the closest lab location. No need to make an appointment since walk-ins are welcomed. Once you have identified your closest location, go to step 2.

  2. Go to "Choose a Test" and add your selection (s) in the shopping cart. If you prefer to save money on bundled tests, we have created "Lab Test Panels" that can help you decide what to order.

  3. If you have a discount coupon code, add it to your cart.

  4. A $8 lab processing fee will be added to your total.

  5. Pay using a credit card.

  6. You will receive an order confirmation and instructions email on how to download your lab request.

  7. Print lab request form that you downloaded.

  8. Take that form to the closest location. Get your blood drawn.

  9. You will receive an email when the results are ready for you to download.

    Note: You cannot place an order under someone else's profile. The profile person's name will appear on the lab order form.


    If you have further questions, please email [email protected].