CK Total (Creatine Kinase)
Also Known As: CK, Total CK, Creatine Phosphokinase, CPK
Creatine kinase is an enzyme that helps in producing energy from muscles. CK’s greatest activity is found in striated muscles such as skeletal muscles and the heart. To a lesser degree, CK activity is involved with the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary bladder.
Increased amounts of CK are released into the blood when there is muscle damage such as a heart attack, skeletal muscle injuries, certain muscle disorders, or strenuous exercise. A CK level may also rise when excessive alcohol, cocaine, and certain medications are taken, such as a statin for elevated cholesterol.
This test measures the amount of CK in the blood, typically to help diagnose conditions associated with muscle damage. While troponin T and troponin are tests primarily used in cardiac problems, in some cases, the CK test may also be used to help detect a second or subsequent heart attack. More recently, it has been shown that elevated CK levels have been associated with increased mortality and morbidity for patients with COVID-19 infections.