A creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) test may be used as a follow-up test to an elevated creatine kinase (CK) in order to determine whether the increase is due to heart damage or skeletal muscle damage. The test is most likely to be ordered if a person has chest pain or if a person's diagnosis is unclear, such as if a person has nonspecific symptoms like shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, dizziness, or nausea.
This test measures the amount of an isoenzyme of creatine kinase (CK) in your blood. It is called CK-MB.
Your body makes 3 forms of CK, including CK-MB. CK is found in the heart, muscles, and other organs. These include the small intestine, brain, and uterus. If you have a heart attack, injured heart muscle cells release CK-MB into your blood.
Because many tissues contain CK, high levels of CK can be a sign of a variety of problems. Higher CK-MB may point more directly to heart damage.
Each year millions of Americans visit the emergency room with chest pain, but only a fraction of those people are actually having a heart attack or another serious, sudden heart problem. This test helps your doctor figure out whether you're having a heart attack.
Measuring CK-MB used to be a common tool for diagnosing heart attacks, but doctors use it less often today. Cardiac troponin is now the test of choice for finding a heart attack. This is because cardiac troponin is more specific and more sensitive than CK-MB.
You can prevent and control many coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors with heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines. Examples of risk factors you can control include high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and overweight and obesity. Only a few risk factors„such as age, gender, and family history„can't be controlled. To reduce your risk of CHD and heart attack, try to control each risk factor you can. The good news is that many lifestyle changes help control several CHD risk factors at the same time. For example, physical activity may lower your blood pressure, help control diabetes and prediabetes, reduce stress, and help control your weight.
Sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough to control your blood cholesterol levels. For example, you may need statin medications to control or lower your cholesterol. By lowering your cholesterol level, you can decrease your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Doctors usually prescribe statins for people who have:
Coronary heart disease, peripheral artery disease, or had a prior stroke
High LDL cholesterol levels
Doctors may discuss beginning statin treatment with those who have an elevated risk for developing heart disease or having a stroke
Your doctor also may prescribe other medications to:
Decrease your chance of having a heart attack or dying suddenly.
Lower your blood pressure.
Prevent blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Prevent or delay the need for a procedure or surgery, such as percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass grafting.
Reduce your heart's workload and relieve CHD.
Take all medicines regularly, as your doctor prescribes. Don't change the amount of your medicine or skip a dose unless your doctor tells you to. You should still follow a heart-healthy lifestyle, even if you take medicines to treat your CHD.