CK or creatinine kinase is an enzyme specifically found in muscle cells. When muscle cells are damaged for whatever reason, the CK enzyme is released into the blood. Since the heart is a muscle, an elevated CK level can mean that the heart is damaged as in a heart attack. Inflammation in the muscle or diseases called myositis, can cause weakness and elevated CK levels. Trauma to the muscle, certain drugs such as the cholesterol drugs “statins”, alcohol or genetic disorders of the muscle also can raise the CK levels. If the elevation of CK levels is mild, this may be normal for you.
About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.
Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University