Creatine Kinase (CK), Total Plus Isoenzymes

CPT: 82550 (total); 82552 (isoenzymes)
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  • CK Fractionation
  • CK Isoenzymes
  • CPK Isoenzymes
  • Creatine Phosphokinase Isoenzymes

Test Includes

Total CK and relative percentage of BB (CK-1), MB (CK-2), and MM (CK-3); percentage of macro CK, if present

Special Instructions

State the patient's sex on the test request form.

Expected Turnaround Time

3 - 6 days

Related Documents

Specimen Requirements




2 mL

Minimum Volume

1.5 mL (Note: This volume does not allow for repeat testing.)


Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube


To avoid delays in turnaround time when requesting multiple tests on frozen samples, please submit separate frozen specimens for each test requested.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate up to 48 hours. Freeze (-20°C) up to two weeks.

Patient Preparation

CK is most commonly elevated in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in which it has its greatest usefulness. Collection of specimen at onset of symptoms to establish baseline values is needed. A patient at onset of AMI will have normal results, but some patients reach medical attention at or beyond CK peak. To support the diagnosis of AMI, three CK isoenzyme determinations have classically been recommended, one on admission, a second 12 hours after admission, a third 24 hours after admission. Another at 48 hours may be needed. CK-MB usually peaks between 15 and 20 hours after the onset of a myocardial infarction. Pappas summarizes current literature regarding timing as follows. In non-Q wave, incomplete occlusion, nontransmural MI, CK-MB peaks on the average 15 hours from onset. In Q wave (complete occlusion) (transmural) infarction, CK-MB average peak is 17 to 20 hours after onset of symptoms. He emphasizes the importance of a sample for CK-MB drawn 16 hours after onset.1 When increased CK-MB values have returned to normal, CK isoenzyme determinations are usually no longer required.

Causes for Rejection

Moderate or excessive hemolysis

Test Details


Diagnose myocardial infarction (MI). Three fractions normally may be found, each an isoenzyme:

• MM is found in normal serum.

• MB is the myocardial fraction associated with MI and occurs in certain other states. MB can be used in estimation of infarct size.

MB increases have been reported with entities that cause damage to the myocardium, such as myocarditis, some instances of cardiomyopathy, and with extensive rhabdomyolysis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, malignant hyperthermia, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, myoglobinemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Reye syndrome, and rarely in rheumatoid arthritis with high titer RF.2 CK-MB does not generally abruptly rise and fall in such nonacute MI settings, as it does in acute myocardial infarct (AMI).

• BB is rarely present. BB has been described as a marker for adenocarcinoma of the prostate, breast, ovary, colon, adenocarcinomas of gastrointestinal tract, and for small cell anaplastic carcinoma of lung. BB has been reported with severe shock and/or hypothermia, infarction of bowel,3 brain injury, stroke, as a genetic marker in some families with malignant pyrexia, and with MB in alcoholic myopathy.


Exercise, intramuscular injections, myxedema, grand mal seizures, prior trauma or surgery, and acute MI very early or late lead to the combination of increased total CK but usually normal CK-MB. Increased CK-MB has been described in marathon runners without MI.4 CK isoenzyme analysis is not usually practical when the total CK is very low, although in elderly people with low muscle mass, the use of sensitive mass concentration assays may be useful. A single CK isoenzyme examination may be misleading. One should look for a pattern in serial CK isoenzyme analyses and seek confirmation with the isoenzymes of LD (LDH), ideally beginning with onset to establish the baseline. LD isoenzyme 1:2 flip is most consistently found about two days after onset of acute infarction of myocardium. The diagnosis of myocardial injury should not be based solely on MB isoenzyme, but rather should be supported by clinical findings, ECG, and often other laboratory parameters (ie, confirmation by LD isoenzymes).1


Total: kinetic; isoenzymes: agarose gel electrophoresis with densitometry

Reference Interval

See tables.

Total CK (U/L)




0 to 7 d



8 to 30 d



1 m to 1 y



2 to 12 y



13 to 17 y



18 to 50 y



51 to 80 y



>80 y



CK Isoenzymes (Male/Female)

Macro type 2

Not observed


97% to 100%

Macro type 1

Not observed


0% to 3%



Additional Information

CK-MB is found in much higher concentrations in cardiac muscle than in ordinary skeletal muscle.

CK-MB is usually not elevated in exercise (total CK elevated); myxedema (total CK elevated in about half of cases); injections into muscle (total CK elevated); strokes, CVA, and other brain disorders in which total CK may be increased; pericarditis; pneumonias or other lung diseases; pulmonary embolus; seizures (CK may be very high but no great MB increase, if any). Although CK-MB is not usually increased in angina, some CK-MB elevations are recognized in angina patients, depending partly on laboratory methodology.

Atypical forms of CK occur. Macro CK type 1 is usually a complex of CK-BB and IgG (or rarely CK-MM with IgA) and created via an antigen-antibody reaction. It can lead to the false-positive diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction by CK-MB interference in some immunoassay techniques. In quantitative total CK assays, macro CK is indistinguishable from normal CK and can cause an elevation of the total CK, although total CK may also be normal. Macroenzymes should be suspected when enzyme levels are persistently raised with relatively constant levels and there is no obvious clinical explanation or other laboratory abnormality. The clinical relevance of macro CK type 1 is not clearly established. It is not associated with a particular type of disease and has been observed in patients with various diseases, as well as in apparently healthy individuals. Occurring more often in women than men and in patients older than 70 years than in the 20 to 69 year age group, it is likely a marker or consequence of cellular damage in a minority of predisposed individuals, predominantly women and elderly people. There are several reported disease associations, including hypothyroidism, neoplasia, autoimmune disease, myositis, and cardiovascular disease. The last two have the strongest reported associations and may support the diagnosis of an autoimmune process, but this may in part be explained by a higher frequency of requests for CK levels in these groups of patients.5 Myositis, including autoimmune myositis, polymyositis, malignancy-associated dermatomyositis, and drug-induced myositis, has been diagnosed in >50% of the patients with macro CK type 1.6

Macro CK type 2 is an oligomeric mitochondrial CK complex that migrates cathodically, or close to CK-MM. It is found primarily in adults who are severely ill with malignancies or liver disease or in children who have myocardial disease. It occurs transiently in about 1% of hospitalized patients and indicates a poor prognosis, except in children.6

Characteristic Findings in Patients With Macro CK*

Type 1

Type 2

*Adapted from Lee KN, Csako G, Bernhardt P, Elin RJ. Relevance of macro creatine kinase type 1 and type 2 isoenzymes to laboratory and clinical data. Clin Chem. 1994 Jul; 40(7 Pt 1):1278-1283.

Total CK

Usually high (>500 U/L)

~ 2/3 of cases

Usually low (<100 U/L)

~3/4 of cases


Rarely detectable:

~1/30 of cases

Present relatively often:

~1/3 of cases


Often present (>4/5 of cases)

Increased (>1/2 of cases)

May be present (~1/4 of cases)

Increased (~1/10 of cases)

Macro CK

~10% of total

~25% of total


Very common




Very common


1. Pappas NJ Jr. Enhanced cardiac enzyme profile. Clin Lab Med. 1989 Dec; 9(4):689-716.2686909
2. Wolf PL. Common causes of false-positive CK-MB test for acute myocardial infarction. Clin Lab Med. 1986 Sep; 6(3):577-581.3742986
3. Fried MW, Murthy UK, Hassig SR, Woo J, Oates RP. Creatine kinase isoenzymes in the diagnosis of intestinal infarction. Dig Dis Sci. 1991 Nov; 36(11):1589-1593.1935497
4. Seigel AJ, Silverman LM, Evans WJ. Elevated skeletal muscle creatine kinase MB isoenzyme levels in marathon runners. JAMA. 1983 Nov 25; 250(20):2835-2837.6644963
5. Laureys M, Sion JP, Slabbynck H, et al. Macromolecular creatine kinase type 1: A serum marker associated with disease. Clin Chem. 1991 Mar; 37(3):430-434. 2004451
6. Lee KN, Csako G, Bernhardt P, Elin RJ. Relevance of macro creatine kinase type 1 and type 2 isoenzymes to laboratory and clinical data. Clin Chem. 1994 Jul; 40(7 Pt 1):1278-1283.8013099


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 001362 Creatine Kinase,Total U/L 2157-6
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 002164 Macro Type 2 % 26020-8
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 002156 CK-MM % 15049-0
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 002165 Macro Type 1 % 26019-0
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 002157 CK-MB % 12187-1
002154 CK, Total+Isoenzymes, Serum 002158 CK-BB % 15048-2

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