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Chemistry panels are groups of tests that are routinely ordered to determine a person's general health status. They help evaluate, for example, the body's electrolyte balance and/or the status of several major body organs. The tests are performed on a blood sample, usually drawn from a vein.
Some of the number and type of tests contained in specific panels, and the names of the panels, have been standardized nationally. Examples of common chemistry panels include:
While most laboratories offer the same set of CMP and BMP tests, some of these other panels may be tailored to meet the needs of the health practitioner ordering the tests. (If a laboratory changes the tests in a CMP or BMP, it will usually also change the name of the panel to avoid confusion.) For a list of the tests included in each of these panels and more information, such as when they may be ordered, click on the name of the panel above to go to its full article.