A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a blood screening test that helps determine the functions of the liver and kidneys and other body organs, as well as determines the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. There are 14 tests included in the CMP.
What are being evaluated in a comprehensive metabolic panel?
Abnormal high levels of this indicate diabetes and hypoglycemia if there is significant decrease of it.
A decrease or increase in the level of this indicates hormonal imbalance. This may also indicate problems with the kidneys, bones or the pancreas.
3. Total blood protein and albumin
Low levels of these may indicate kidney and liver disease or probably nutritional problems.
4. Sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide and chloride
Abnormality in the levels of this may indicate dehydration, heart and kidney problems.
5. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine
Increased concentration of these indicates poor kidney function.
6. Bilirubin, alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
These are all liver enzymes. When the level becomes elevated, it indicates that the liver is damaged and dysfunctional like in the case of jaundice and hepatitis.
We can see clearly here that the primary reason for a physician to have the patient undergo comprehensive metabolic panel is to get information on the functional condition of the organs of the body like the liver and the kidneys. Any deviation from the normal values is indicative of medical conditions like diabetes, kidney or liver problems.
List of Normal Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Values
Albumin – 3.9 – 5.0 g/dL
Alkaline Phosphatase – 44 – 147 IU/L
ALT (alanine transaminase) – 8 – 37 IU/L
AST (aspartate aminotransferase) – 10 – 34 IU/L
BUN (blood urea nitrogen) – 7 – 20 mg/dL
Calcium – serum – 8.5 – 10.9 mg/dL
Serum Chloride – 101 – 111 mmoI/L
CO2 – 20-29 mmoI/L
Creatinine – 0.8 – 1.4 mg/dL
Direct bilirubin – 0.0 – 0.3 mg/dL
Gamma G-T (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) – 0 – 51 IU/L
Glucose test – 64 – 128 mg/dL
LDH – 105 – 333 IU/L
Phosphorus-serum – 2.4 – 4.1 mg/dL
Potassium test – 3.7 – 5.2 mEq/L
Serum sodium – 136 – 144 mEq/L
Total bilirubin – 0.2 – 1.9 mg/dL
Total cholesterol – 100 – 240 mg/dL
Total protein – 6.3 – 7.9 g/dL
Uric acid – 4.1 – 8.8 mg/dL
The Test Procedure
The test is performed by drawing blood samples from the patient’s vein, usually on the inside of the elbow. Prior to the test the patient is required to fast for eight to twelve hours. The skin where the blood will be drawn is cleaned with antiseptic and a tourniquet is applied to the upper arm so that the vein will swell.
The patient will then be advised to relax the arms so that drawing of the blood will be less painful. The needle is then inserted into a vein. The blood that was drawn is collected either in vial or a syringe. After removing the needle, the area where the needle was inserted is covered with cotton to stop the bleeding.
The collected blood sample will then be processed in a machine. Results can be taken in a few hours or the next day but in cases of emergency the result is available within few minutes.
If the results show that there is problem with the levels, the doctor may proceed with other tests in order to find out further what causes the abnormality in the levels so that he may arrive into a conclusion and come up with the treatment plan.
The comprehensive metabolic panel is ideally recommended to be done once a year especially for patients who are in their 40′s.