The Importance of a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

November 12, 2012

The Importance of a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel refers to a simple blood test that can tell doctors about their patient’s kidneys and liver, protein and blood sugar levels, and fluid and electrolyte balance. This test is needed to diagnose kidney diseases, liver diseases and other conditions, such as diabetes. This test can also be used to monitor people with certain health problems.

Sometimes, various different tests will need to be done for this. Fortunately, though, you will only need to get one blood test done since the laboratory will be able to use that same blood sample to get all of the other tests done in the end.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel – What Else Can Doctors See?

  • Blood Protein

Liver function tests usually involve the measurement of a patient’s blood protein. If the patient has liver problems, there might be changes in this blood protein amount, as well as in the other proteins that it produces.

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen

The kidneys tend to filter out this waste product from the blood, so having a lot of it left in the blood might signal certain kidney problems.

  • Calcium Levels

Calcium happens to play a vital role in sending messages through the body’s nerves, releasing hormones and contracting muscles. Therefore, calcium levels that are too low or too high on a comprehensive metabolic panel might signal kidney problems, bone problems, pancreatic problems or hormonal imbalances.

  • Glucose Levels

If a patient has unusual glucose levels, this could indicate hypoglycemia or diabetes.

  • Electrolytes

Electrolytes like sodium, carbon dioxide, chloride, and potassium can all help balance out the fluid levels in the body. They can also help regulate heartbeats, brain functions, and muscle contractions. So, if there are any unusual electrolyte levels in a patient, that might signal some kind of kidney disease, heart disease, or even dehydration.

  • Enzymes

Enzymes like alkaline phosphatase, alanine amino transferase, bilirubin, and aspartate amino transferase can be found inside the liver and in various other body issues. So, if a comprehensive metabolic panel reveals high enzyme levels, this might signal certain liver problems.

Does It Require Preparation?

If an emergency arises, no special preparation would be required for a comprehensive metabolic panel. However, if there is time and there really isn’t any hurry to get the test done, then the patient can fast in order to get more accurate results. Most of the time, the doctor will request for the patient to avoid eating or drinking for 12 hours prior to the test.


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