Comprehensive metabolic panel or just CMP is panel of tests ordered by the doctor. It is usually done in order to check the condition of the liver and the kidneys, as well as to collect information about the acid/base balance, level of electrolytes and amounts of sugar and proteins in the blood.
There are 14 specific tests in CMP and all of them have been approved, named and assigned certain code (current procedural terminology or CPT number). Different laboratories may adjust the number of tests in CMP, but grouped as this, these tests are standardized throughout the United States.
CMP panel includes the test fpr determining the level of calcium and glucose, as well as tests for proteins, more precisely total amount of present proteins in the blood and the amount of albumin.
Electrolytes test of CMP includes sodium, potassium, chloride and carbon dioxide (or bicarbonate) tests. If there is some imbalance of electrolytes or acid-base in the body, it may indicate presence of some acute or chronic disease.
Kidney tests include creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (or BUN) tests. Both creatinine and BUN are products of human metabolism and they get expelled from the body via filtration in the kidneys. If there is some increase of either of these waste products in the blood it suggests that there is something wrong with the function of the kidneys, which might be either acute or chronic kidney problem.
Liver tests include testing for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine amino transferase (ALT or SGPT), aspartate amino transferase (SGOT) and bilirubin tests. All mentioned tests serves to determine level of these liver enzymes. Bilirubin is not a liver enzyme, but a waste product left after recycling of old red blood cells in the liver. Elevated blood concentrations of any of these tests/enzymes may point to dysfunction and some diseases of the liver.
About CMP Testing
All your doctor need for CMP panel is a tube of your blood, collected from the vein. You will go to the laboratory and the technician will insert the needle into the vein and draw small sample of your blood for the panel. The sample will be analyzed and your doctor will be able to evaluate functioning of your organs (liver and the kidneys) and check if you are suffering from diabetes. The CMP panel could also be used to monitor patients who use certain drugs for any unwanted effects or to monitor medical problems like high blood pressure. These tests are not specific and they can’t indicate exact cause of the problem, but they are used to point to specific problems and may lead to further testing.