Muscle Health

Creatine kinase

A healthy result should fall into the range 24 - 204 U/L, 0.41 - 3.47 µkat/L, or 24.00 - 204.00 IU/L.

Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme found primarily in the brain, skeletal muscles, and heart. Conditions that cause damage to any of these three areas produce an elevated level of CK. For this reason, CK tests are often run to detect muscle damage, especially if someone is taking a drug such as a statin, using cocaine, or has been exposed to a toxin. If you’re experiencing chest pain or weakness your doctor may order a CK test to determine if you’ve had a heart attack. It is also common for doctors to use this test to evaluate the extent of sports injuries. Creatine kinase levels reflect the amount of muscle in the body, and as such men typically have higher levels than women. Finally, a CK test may be used to diagnose rhabdomyolysis, a condition characterized by the rapid breakdown of muscle tissue. It is worth noting that a normal level of CK does not necessarily mean that there is no muscle damage. It could mean that the damage occurred long enough ago for levels to return to normal.  Frequently, a succession of CK tests are run as changes in CK levels due to muscle damage can take hours to present.

Normal Ranges:

Normal CK levels change drastically depending on factors such as age, gender, and activity level. Generally, 24-204 U/L is considered normal. 

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