Creatine kinase: normal values, what is it and what is its analysis?

Besides the high creatinine (which consists of a waste product of our metabolism whose amount depends on our mass and muscle activity, and is extremely useful to analyze the functional status of our kidneys ), we can also find other parameters or elements that can be studied in a blood test.

It is the case of the one known as creatine kinase , also known by the names of CK, total CK or creatine phosphokinase. It is an especially useful parameter when it comes to monitor and detect muscle damage , being appropriate when the doctor seeks to establish a diagnosis of diseases associated with muscle damage.

Creatine Kinase

On the other hand, also It is useful to know if the person has suffered an acute myocardial infarction (although it is true that there are other parameters much more useful, as for example is the case of troponin).

What is and what is the creatine kinase analysis?

It is an analysis that measures the amount of creatine kinase (CK) found in the blood. Creatine kinase is an enzyme found in skeletal muscle, in the heart, in the brain and in other tissues, and tends to appear in large quantities in the blood when injury or damage to the muscles occurs.

Usually creatine kinase is found in the blood in low amounts, mainly coming from the skeletal muscles. But when muscle damage occurs or any other situation that interferes with the production or energy consumption in the muscle, it can elevate the CK in the blood.

Normal values ​​of creatine kinase or CK

According to the American Muscular Dystrophy Association creatine kinase (CK) values ​​between 22 and 198 units per liter are normal , although variations in laboratory values ​​may occur depending on the sex of the person, their race ...

In fact, the greater the muscle mass of the person, or the more damaged the muscle fibers are, the higher the concentration of creatine kinase in the blood.

What causes abnormal creatine kinase values?

When in a blood test is the high creatine kinase It is possible that the muscle is being destroyed by some abnormal process, such as inflammation or muscular dystrophy. However, high levels can also occur when intense physical exercise is practiced.


For example, high CK values ​​can be found under the following conditions:

  • Prolonged surgeries
  • Practice of intense or very intense physical exercise.
  • Viral infections (influenza or HIV).
  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Parasitic infections
  • Thrombosis.
  • Poisoning by toxins or drugs that interfere with the production of energy in the muscle.
  • Acute myocardial infarction.

We must bear in mind that if the muscle damage is not treated and / or resolved the creatine kinase will remain elevated for much longer, hence it is useful to monitor creatine kinase, especially in case of muscle damage or heart damage.

What is the purpose of your analysis and why is it so useful?

It is a very useful analysis when it comes to to know if there is or not muscle damage or if for example there is any indicator of fatigue . And as we indicated in the previous lines, creatine kinase rises in significant quantities in the blood when the muscle is being destroyed by some unusual process, or under normal conditions when a muscle injury occurs (for example, after a intense physical effort).

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