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 in the arm.
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:
- Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) - usually contains 8 tests, all of which are found in the CMP (below); provides information about the current status of a person's kidneys and respiratory system as well as electrolyte and acid/base balance and level of blood glucose
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) - usually includes 14 tests; provides the same information as the BMP with the addition of the status of a person's liver and important blood proteins
- Electrolyte Panel - helpful for detecting a problem with the body's fluid and electrolyte balance
- Lipid Profile - used to assess a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease
- Liver Panel (also called Hepatic Function Panel) - used to screen for, detect, evaluate, and monitor actue and chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis), liver disease and/or damage
- Renal Panel (also called Kidney Function Panel) - contains tests such as albumin, creatinine, BUN, eGFR to evaluate kidney function
- Thyroid Function Panel - to help evaluate thyroid gland function and to help diagnose thyroid disorders
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.
© 2017 American Association for Clinical Chemistry, republished from Lab Tests Online.*
Descriptions of clinical laboratory tests were originally prepared for use on Lab Tests Online, an award-winning patient education website on clinical laboratory testing. Lab Tests Online is produced by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to clinical laboratory science and its application to healthcare. The Lab Tests Online website is developed in collaboration with other laboratory professional societies and is funded in part through corporate sponsorships.