Q:

What are is the correlation between high creatine kinase levels and muscle damage?

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Quick Answer

High creatine kinase levels in a patient’s blood indicate damage or stress to the muscle tissue, heart or brain explains MedlinePlus. When tissue has damage, creatine kinase leaks from the tissue into the bloodstream. Doctors then identify which form of creatine kinase is high in the bloodstream to determine the location of the damage.

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Full Answer

High creatine phosphokinase levels in the blood occur from destruction of cardiac or skeletal muscles or from a brain injury. The injury can result from conditions such as stroke, severe alcohol withdrawal or muscle diseases such as dermatomyositis. Muscular dystrophy, polymyositis, myocardial infarction or brain injury can also be the cause, notes Healthgrades. If a patient fails to seek treatment or to follow the doctor’s recommendations during treatment, he could suffer heart failure, disability or brain damage.

Creatine kinase is an enzyme found mainly in the skeletal muscles, brain and heart, according to Healthline. To measure the levels of creatine kinase in a patient’s blood, the doctor carries out a creatine kinase test in which he collects blood from the patient using a needle and sends it to the lab for diagnosis. Elevated levels of creatine kinase indicate an abnormal result and identify conditions such as death of lung tissue, pericarditis after a heart attack, a breakdown of muscle tissue, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or heart muscle inflammation.

Before undergoing a creatine phosphokinase test, the patient should inform his doctor about any medications he takes, advises MedlinePlus. Drugs such as dexamethasone, certain anesthetics, amphotericin B, alcohol and cocaine can increase creatine kinase levels.

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