Creatine Kinase Serum Level Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Serum creatine kinase levels are measured when there is a need to check for defects and damage to the heart muscles. This condition is called myocardial infarction. By measuring the serum creatine kinase level, a doctor would be able to ascertain the level of damage to the muscles of the heart as well. Creatine kinase is an enzyme that is part of the metabolic process and energy creation. Energy in our body is the result of a transformation of adenosine triphosphate or ATP to adenosine diphosphate or ADP.

Creatine acts as a storage mechanism for energy when the kidneys create creatine and transport it to the liver to create phosphocreatine or PCr. In a normal situation, ATP reacts with creatine with catalysis from creatine kinase to form ADP and PCr. This is a reversible reaction that can again create ATP. Therefore, muscles that require a sudden burst of power usually store PCr that is created in the liver to make ATP immediately available.

Reasons Why It is Performed

The test for elevated serum creatine kinase levels is performed to check for signs of muscular breakdown, dystrophy, inflammation, but more specifically to test for the presence of a degradation of heart muscle or myocardial infarction. The test has to be done for a specific isoenzyme of creatine kinase called CKMB (Muscle/Brain) or for the levels of troponin.

Procedure To Conduct the Test

The test is a creatine kinase total serum levels test, and therefore only requires a blood sample to be taken. A health care professional or a doctor will tie a tuber tube on your forearm and then extract blood from the vein. The blood is then screened in a laboratory for the presence of creatine kinase levels.


There are no preparatory steps to take this test and you could be on any kind of medication but these will not interfere with CK levels. There is however some concern that medications like statins (simvastatin) that are used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood can increase the levels of CK in the blood; therefore, inform your doctor if you are taking drugs for this condition. Elevated serum CKMB levels are indication muscular degeneration. Low levels of CKMB are associated with diminished liver function like in alcoholics and also with a disease called rheumatoid arthritis. Elevated levels can also be an indication of hypothyroidism as well as a condition called McLeod's syndrome.