Creatine Kinase (CK) Test

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Related tests: Myoglobin

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To detect and monitor muscle damage and to help diagnose conditions associated with muscle damage

When to Get Tested?

If you have muscle pain, tenderness, weakness and swelling after muscle damage, particularly if your urine becomes dark reddish-brown in colour

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in the arm

Test Preparation Needed?


The Test Sample

What is being tested?

This test measures the amount of creatine kinase (CK) in the blood. CK is an enzyme found in the heart, brain, skeletal muscle and other tissues. Increased amounts are released into the bloodstream when there is muscle damage. CK occurs in three major forms, called isoenzymes:

  • CK-MB (found mostly in heart muscle)
  • CK-BB (found mostly in brain)
  • CK-MM (found in muscles)

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is taken by needle from the arm.

NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.

Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is required.

The Test

Common Questions

Ask a Laboratory Scientist

Article Sources

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.