Also known as a basic metabolic panel, a Chem 8 blood test measures the levels of several substances in the blood and provides information about the metabolism of the body. A blood sample is required for this test.
According to MedlinePlus, the test is often necessary to evaluate blood sugar levels, kidney function and blood acid/base balance. The test may also be necessary to check the levels of calcium and albumin in the blood. The basic metabolic panel usually contains 8 tests, hence the Chem 8 reference. Abnormal results may be a sign of various conditions, including diabetes, kidney failure and medication side effects.