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Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

What is a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)?

A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a test that measures 14 different substances in the blood, providing important information about the body’s metabolism and chemical balance. Other names for the CMP include a chemistry panel, chem 14, metabolic panel, or chemistry screen.

A CMP tests for the following:

  • calcium
  • glucose
  • albumin
  • electrolytes (carbon dioxide, sodium, potassium, chloride)
  • total protein
  • bilirubin
  • liver enzymes (alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT))
  • waste products removed by the kidneys (blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine)

If any of these substances are found to be at an abnormal level, it may signify a serious health problem.

A CMP is generally completed as part of a regular check-up. However, a healthcare provider may also order it if they think kidney or liver disease is possible.

Why is a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) important for healthcare?

The CMP can check several processes and functions in the body, including:

  • blood sugar levels
  • liver and kidney health
  • fluid and electrolyte balance
  • blood protein levels
  • metabolism
  • acid and base balance

A doctor may also use a CMP to monitor certain medicines and their side effects.

A similar test to the CMP is the basic metabolic panel (BMP), but this test checks for only eight of the tests included in the CMP and does not include the liver and protein tests. Knowing this, the CMP provides more information about the body’s inner workings and can give the doctor more details about what may be causing the patient’s symptoms.