Alternate Names : Creatine Kinase, Creatine Phosphokinase, CK
This test measures the level of the enzyme creatine phosphokinase, or CPK, in the blood. CPK is an enzyme found in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle.
Who is a candidate for the test?
When muscle tissue is damaged, CPK can leak into the bloodstream. The test is usually done to see if muscle has been damaged or a heart attack has occurred.
How is the test performed?
To measure the amount of CPK in the blood, a blood sample is taken from a vein on the forearm or hand. First, the skin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube, or tourniquet, is wrapped around the upper arm. This enlarges the veins in the lower arm by restricting blood flow through them. A fine needle is gently inserted into a vein, and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through the needle and is collected in a syringe or vial for testing in the laboratory. After the needle is withdrawn, the puncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding.