Creatine Kinase
(CK)

Alternate Names

  • Total CK
  • Creatine Phosphokinase
  • CPK
  • CK-MB
  • CK-MM
  • CK-BB

CK is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in muscles, the brain, and the heart. When muscles or nerves in the brain are damaged, blood levels of CK rise within a short time after the damage. CK can be further broken down into isoenzymes, and these isoenzymes are more specific to where the damage has occurred. CK-MB is very specific for acute heart attack, heart infection, or other heart disease. CK-MM is specific for injury to skeletal muscles either from trauma or from excessive exercise, surgery or chronic alcoholism. CK-BB is specific to brain tissue and nerve damage.

CK-MB levels begin to increase within a known period of time (3 to 6 hours), will rise to its highest level within a known period of time (12 to 24 hours), then begin to fall and return to normal within a known period of time (12 to 48 hours). There are many medications that can affect CK levels.

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