Creatine phosphokinase test

What Is a Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) Test?

A creatine phosphokinase (CPK) test measures the amount of CPK enzyme in your blood. CPK is produced by your heart, brain, and skeletal muscles, and elevated levels may be a sign of a number of disorders, including muscle or heart damage. Your doctor can use the test to diagnose and track certain muscle or heart diseases.

Purpose of Test

CPK is an enzyme that is found in organs with muscle activity, such as the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles. When these organs are damaged, the CPK levels can Increase. Your doctor will use this test to measure the amount of CPK in your blood.

Your CPK level can help your doctor:

  • diagnose muscle damage
  • diagnose heart damage
  • monitor muscle damage over time
  • monitor the effectiveness of treatment for muscle or heart damage

Preparing for the Test

No special preparation before a CPK test is necessary.


A healthcare professional will take a sample of your blood using a needle and syringe. It’s important to look away during this procedure if you don’t like needles or seeing blood.

Your blood will be collected in a bottle and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The laboratory will measure your CPK level and send the results to your doctor.

Types of CPK Tests

There are three types of CPK tests:

  • Total CPK
  • Isoenzyme CPK
  • MB CPK

Total CPK measures the combined activity of all the CPK enzymes in your blood.

Isoenzyme CPK measures the activity of individual CPK enzymes. It can help your doctor pinpoint which organ or area of the body the enzyme is coming from.

MB CPK measures the activity of a specific type of CPK enzyme. It can help your doctor diagnose heart damage.


CPK testing poses few risks. The most common is slight bleeding or bruising at the site where the needle was injected.

Why Do I Need This Test?

Your doctor may order a CPK test if you have signs or symptoms of heart or muscle damage. These signs may include shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue.

Your doctor may also order the test if you have a family history of heart or muscle diseases. It may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for some types of heart or muscle damage.

When Should I Get the Test Done?

Your doctor will determine when it’s appropriate for you to get a CPK test. They may want to test your CPK levels at regular intervals to monitor your condition. If you are at risk for muscle or heart damage, they may recommend that you get the test done regularly.