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Cardiac Enzyme Studies

Results

Cardiac enzyme studies measure the levels of the enzyme creatine kinase (CK), and the proteins troponin I (TnI) and troponin T (TnT) in the blood.

Values and units for reporting the results of cardiac enzyme tests vary considerably. The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Troponin normal values:1

CK-MB (creatine kinase-myocardial band) normal values:1

  • 0–3 micrograms per liter (mcg/L)

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Other diseases, such as hypothyroidism, muscular dystrophy, certain autoimmune diseases, and Reye syndrome.
  • Other heart conditions, such as myocarditis and some forms of cardiomyopathy.
  • Emergency measures to treat heart problems, such as CPR, cardioversion, or defibrillation.
  • Medicines, especially injections into muscles (IM injections).
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines (statins).
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Recent strenuous exercise.
  • Kidney injury.
  • Recent surgery or serious injury.

What To Think About

  • CK-MB, which is found in large amounts in damaged heart muscle is a more specific way to estimate the amount of heart muscle damage than total CK. The total CK enzyme level can be elevated from vigorous exercise, intramuscular injections, crush injuries to muscles, muscular dystrophy, or muscle inflammation.

Related Information

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Thygesen K, et al. (2012). Third universal definition of myocardial infarction. Circulation, 126(16): 2020–2035. Also available online: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/126/16/2020.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerGeorge Philippides, MD - Cardiology
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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