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CMP stands for Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, which is a blood test. A CMP test is typically performed to identify certain medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.
- A CMP test is also used to monitor permanent medical conditions or side effects of some medications
- A yearly physical may involve a CMP test
What is Tested?
A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel helps to check for liver and kidney functioning. The test will also check how a patient’s metabolism is working. Most CMP test results will provide levels of 19 different items in the blood stream. These elements are:
- Sodium (helps balance your body)
- Bilirubin (liver fluid)
- Glucose (the sugar in the blood)
- Potassium (an electrolyte)
- BUN/Creatinine ratio
- Magnesium (an electrolyte)
- Chloride (an electrolyte)
- Carbon Dioxide (waste byproduct)
- BUN – Blood Urea Nitrogen) (a waste byproduct)
- Creatinine (a waste byproduct)
- Calcium (a mineral for bones)
- Protein (amino acids)
- Globulin (family of proteins)
- Alanine Aminotransferase (an enzyme)
- Glomerular Filtration Rate (shows that the kidneys are working)
- Aspartate Aminotransferase (an enzyme)
- Albumin (encourages the transport of nutrients)
Each of these elements has particular levels in the body. When those levels are high or low, it can indicate different diseases or illnesses. For example, when glucose is low, it may indicate liver disease, adrenal insufficiency, or excess insulin. If glucose is too high, it may suggest pancreatitis or hyperthyroidism.
Before the Test
Before taking the test, a doctor may request a patient fast. Typically, this means the patient cannot eat for eight to 12 hours before taking the test. The doctor needs to be aware of any over the counter medication and prescription medicine that the patient takes, because they may interfere with the test results.
After the Test
After the test, the area may bruise but should be completely healed in a just a few days. The results of the analysis can be available in a few hours or in up to 24 hours. If it is an emergency, the results can be processed almost immediately.
It’s important to note that the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel does not tell the doctor exactly what is wrong. If any of the levels are too high or too low, follow-up tests may be required by your doctor to determine the exact issue. This is because a single high or low result may not necessarily indicate a medical condition. The single high or low result can come from a biological variability or an individual variability.
A biological variability means that a result is different in the same person at different testing times. For example, when a patient is tested, the glucose level may be low when it is typically normal. An individual variability means that the patient’s results does not fall into the normal reference range used to define the test results, but that the results do fall into the individual’s own norms.