Elevated serum levels of creatine phosphokinase is an important lab measurement to help evaluate the health of various organs in our body and to indicate disease. Creatine phosphokinase is an enzyme that conducts chemical interactions in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles. (Enzymes are proteins that aid in biological reactions that occur in the body). Damage to muscle tissue causes creatine phosphokinase to leak into the blood, thus increased creatine phosphokinase levels could mean that there is damage to a muscle or the heart. The level of creatine phosphokinase is often also used to evaluate kidney function.
Elevated creatine phosphokinase levels are due to an incorrectly functioning CAV3 gene. Genes are inherited in pairs, one from the mother and one from the father. This mutated CAV3 gene is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Autosomal dominant inheritance means that only one mutated, or changed, gene needs to be received from a parent for the child to have elevated creatine phosphokinase levels. Most individuals with elevated creatine phosphokinase levels have a parent with the same condition.
Levels of creatine phosphokinase in the blood can be measured with a blood test. Often times physicians will administer a blood test repeatedly over a few days because the timing and pattern of creatine phosphokinase levels can tell physicians about possible risk of a future heart attack or other muscle damage. The test can also be used to test for a previous heart attack, chest pain, muscle damage or diseases, or infection.
Cutting back on strenuous exercise, increasing fiber intake, reducing creatine and protein intake, and adjusting fluid consumption can help reduce creatine phosphokinase levels. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with elevated serum levels of creatine phosphokinase, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Aug 15, 2018