Creatine Kinase (CK), Total

Alternate Name: CK

  | Creatine Phosphokinase, Total

SAL Code:






Turn Around Time:

1 Day







Performing Laboratory:

Sherman Abrams Laboratory

Specimen Requirements:

Primary Tube:


Primary Substance:


Alternate Sample Info:

Red Top; Green Top (sodium heparin) tube.



Stable Ambient:

7 Days

Stable Fridge:

7 Days

Stable Frozen:

30 Days

Rejection Criteria:

Gross hemolysis; improper labeling

Clinical Info:

The CK test may be helpful to detect muscle damage in certain cases where a patient might be taking a drug such as a statin, using ethanol or cocaine, have experienced physical trauma; or might have been exposed to toxins that may cause muscle damage. CK can also be elevated in the hours following an acute myocardial infarction. If a CK is elevated and the location of the muscle damage is unclear, then a health practitioner may order CK isoenzymes (SAL# 353) as a follow-up test, to distinguish between the three types (isoenzymes) of CK: CK-MB (found primarily in heart muscle), CK-MM (found primarily in skeletal muscle), and CK-BB (found primarily in the brain; when present in the blood, it is primarily from smooth muscles, including those in intestines, uterus or placenta).

Additional Information:

Measurements of Creatine Kinase can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of muscle disease and myocardial infarction. Other conditions such as progressive Duchenne-type muscular dystrophy, or myxedema (hypothyroidism) can cause elevated levels of CK. This test can also be used to detect inflammation of muscles (myositis) or serious muscle damage and/or to diagnose rhabdomyolysis. Strenuous exercising, particularly where muscles may be torn or damaged may also cause elevated CK levels.

Sample Collection:

Collect patient samples using standard phlebotomy techniques. Click here for additional collection instructions.
Separate serum or plasma from cells within 45 minutes of collection.

Test Limitations:

Intramuscular injections increase serum CK activity. CK may be elevated following exercise. CK may ne normal at the onset of a myocardial infarction unless the patient has been exercising or doing heavy physical work. Elevation of CK following acute MI may not be observed until six or more hours after onset. CK returns to normal in approximately 48 to 72 hours after acute MI. Total CK can be normal in acute MI, when CK-MB is increased. Low CK does not rule out myositis in patients with the connective tissue diseases. CK may be decreased with pregnancy.

Specimen Handling Instructions:

Maintain at ambient temperature; or refrigerated if more than 12 hours. Avoid exposure to heat or freezing temperatures.

Test Information: