The annual physical examination routine of a person includes various blood tests and a detailed physiological analysis. Amongst these various blood tests, the CMP blood test proves to be the baseline of the physiology of a person. Any minor changes in the results of this test could serve as an invitation for other, more specialized, tests. It is also a part of the routine checkup drill for people who are suffering from various acute and chronic diseases, like hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
What is a CMP Blood Test?
A CMP or Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test is a commonly ordered panel of tests which is very essential for the doctors, in order to know the current physiological status of the patient. It gives detailed information about the liver, kidneys, electrolytes, and the acid/base balance of the body. It also provides details about blood protein and glucose levels. It is actually a panel of 14 standard tests, which are used for checking the levels of various chemical components in the body. Initially, this test had various other names like Chem 12, Chemistry Screen, Chemistry Panel, SMAC, SMA 12, SMA 20, etc.
How is a CMP Blood Test Performed?
The patient is asked to fast for about 8 to 12 hours, wherein he consumes nothing but water. Once the blood sample is drawn, it is used as a broad screening tool, that evaluates various organic functions. The test can be ordered to check for a few known health conditions of the patient. In case the health care provider requires two or more CMP components, then an entire panel of tests may also be ordered. Here are the details of the components that are involved in this panel of 14 tests.
Here are the 14 tests which are ordered in the comprehensive metabolic panel blood test.
Blood Glucose Test
This test is done to determine blood glucose levels. It is an important diagnostic indicator for various health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. The normal results of this glucose test range between 70-100 mg/dL. Higher levels are an indication of diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, adrenal cortical hyperactivity; while lower levels are an indication of hypopituitarism, insulinoma, and adrenal cortical insufficiency.
Blood Calcium Test
This test determines the exact calcium levels in the patient's body. It indicates the calcium deficiencies and hypercalcemia. Normal results for the calcium test are 8.5-10.9 mg/dL. Higher levels or hypercalcemia, could be responsible for changes in the cardiac rhythm, death of organ cells, and various other neuromuscular disorders; while lower levels of calcium can affect the rate of blood clotting, and cause some severe neural and bleeding disorders.
Serum Protein Test
The serum protein test includes human serum albumin test and serum total protein test. While the first determines the protein levels of the body, the latter determines the total amount of protein which is present in the blood serum. The normal results for human serum albumin test (HSA) are 3.9 to 5.0 g/dL; while for the serum total protein test (TP) 6.3 to 7.9 g/dL is considered normal. Higher blood protein levels indicate several blood diseases, including leukemia. Lower protein levels indicate several liver and heart diseases.
The test for electrolyte level is a set of four important tests, that are carried out to determine the status of potassium, sodium, chloride, and carbon dioxide levels. Normal results for these electrolytes are - Potassium - 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L, Sodium - 136 to 144 mEq/L, Chloride - 96 to 106 mmol/L and Carbon Dioxide - 20 to 29 mmol/L. Both, rise or fall in the electrolyte levels can cause severe fluid electrolyte imbalance that affects the osmotic pressure of the body cells, and leads to serious nervous, skeletal, and cardiovascular diseases.
CMP blood test for kidney is again a set of two tests, namely, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) Test and creatinine test. Along with observing the kidney function, the BUN test checks for the amount of blood urea, which is a waste product removed by the body though the kidneys. Normal results for BUN test are 7-20 mg/dL. Higher levels indicate diseases like kidney failure, ulcers, and heart diseases. Lower levels indicate depressed liver function, which is caused due to excessive alcohol consumption and malnutrition. The creatinine test, on the other hand, is performed to determine the normal kidney function. Presence of creatinine in blood is a strong indicator of irregular glomerular filtration rate. Normal results for creatinine test for an adult are 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dL.
It is a set of four tests, that are carried out in order to determine the proper liver functions. These tests are namely - alkaline phosphatase test (APT), alanine amino transferase test (ALT), aspartate transaminase test (AST) and the bilirubin test. Amongst these tests, APT, ALT and AST determine liver health and liver function, while the bilirubin test determines the level of bilirubin, which is excreted by liver, along with bile pigments. Normal results for the bilirubin test are 0.2 to 1.9 mg/dL; 44 to 147 IU/L for APT ; 10 to 34 IU/L for AST, and 8 to 37 IU/L for ALT. Higher levels of bilirubin is associated with hepatitis, jaundice and other such liver diseases.
The cost of this panel of tests may vary from place to place. Still, the approximate cost ranges between USD 60 to 140. It is important to remember that, when ordered separately, these tests can cost more than USD 200. Generally, the health care provider suggests getting these tests performed on a yearly basis, especially for people who have crossed their forties. After observing the results of the test, the health care provider would suggest other specific confirmatory tests to arrive at the exact diagnosis.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.