Karla News

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Creatinine, Electrolytes, Kidney Function, Liver Function

If your doctor has ordered a comprehensive metabolic panel, but hasn’t explained the test to you in detail, you may be searching for information. Keep reading to find out more about the comprehensive metabolic panel, why it’s ordered, and how the results are interpreted.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: Blood Chemistry Screening

A comprehensive metabolic panel is a set of fourteen tests that are used to determine the function of organs such as the liver and kidneys, the acid/base balance of the body, and the levels of electrolytes, blood glucose, and blood proteins present in the body. This test is ordered as a part of a routine physical or it can also be ordered if you are experiencing troublesome symptoms. For example, a patient experiencing fatigue or excessive thirst may undergo a comprehensive metabolic panel to determine if they are dehydrated or have a blood glucose abnormality.

People with chronic medical conditions often undergo a comprehensive metabolic panel as part of routine blood work to monitor their conditions. A good example would be someone who has chronic kidney disease. The comprehensive metabolic panel will help doctors determine several values related to kidney function including sodium, potassium, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine.

Drawing a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel requires that a blood sample be taken from a vein in your body. Blood samples are usually drawn from a vein in either arm. A phlebotomist will prepare you by wrapping a tourniquet around your upper arm and looking for a vein. Once a vein has been identified, the phlebotomist will swab the area with an alcohol pad to ensure that it is clean. Blood is drawn from the vein into a collection tube and the tourniquet is then released. The phlebotomist may use a piece of gauze to stop any blood from flowing and then cover the site with a bandage or piece of medical tape.

See also  5 Ways to Treat Depression Naturally

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Tests

A comprehensive metabolic panel consists of several sets of tests. Four tests are used to measure liver function: alanine amino transferase (ALT), bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and aspartate amino transferase (AST). Bilirubin is a byproduct of liver function, also considered a waste product. ALT, ALP, and AST are liver enzymes. These may be elevated if liver function has been compromised. Electrolytes are tested with a comprehensive metabolic panel. The four electrolytes measured are sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide (CO2), and chloride. These electrolytes are regulated carefully by the body; any abnormality can indicate a problem with the body’s regulatory mechanisms.

Albumin and total protein are the two protein tests that are performed as part of a comprehensive metabolic panel. Albumin is a serum protein that has very small molecules. Total protein accounts for the amount of albumin and other proteins in the blood. Both low and high levels of albumin and total protein can indicate a problem. Kidney function can be tested with the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine tests. Both of these are waste products that need to be eliminated from the body. If these levels are elevated, it may indicate an abnormality in kidney function. Finally, the comprehensive metabolic panel also evaluates the levels of glucose and calcium in the blood.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Results

Increases or decreases in any of the values tested can indicate a problem with organ function or the body’s ability to regulate these levels. Your doctor may be able to diagnose you with a medical condition based on these results, but you may likely need to undergo additional blood work and diagnostic testing in order to confirm and further investigate abnormal values.

See also  Glaceau Vitamin Water - Review