Q:

What does it mean to have a high CK reading on your blood test?

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Quick Answer

A high creatine kinase reading on a blood test generally means there has been some recent muscle damage, explains the American Association of Clinical Chemistry Lab Tests Online. The high creatine kinase reading does not indicate the cause of the muscle damage or location. The levels of the blood test readings depend upon the severity of the muscle damage.

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Full Answer

Labs do creatine kinase, or CK, tests to detect muscle inflammation or serious muscle damage, explains AACC Lab Tests Online. Tests that peak and then start to drop show that new muscle damage has diminished. Increasing and persistent elevations indicate that there is continuing damage. Labs can also use the test to diagnose rhabdomyolysis if a patient already shows symptoms of muscle aches and weakness and dark urine. To evaluate kidney function, a doctor may order just a creatine kinase test or order other blood tests, such as BUN, creatine and electrolytes.

A doctor may order a CK test whenever he suspects muscle damage to monitor for continued damage, explains the AACC Lab Tests Online. It may be ordered when a patient experiences physical trauma such as extensive burns or crushing injuries, explains the AACC Lab Tests Online. In the case of a high creatine blood test reading where the location of the muscle damage is unknown, a doctor may order CK-MB or CK isoenzymes as follow-up tests to distinguish between body muscles.

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