Understanding Comprehensive Medical Panel
Within our body occur a number of different metabolic processes that are essential to normal functioning of the body. A comprehensive medical panel, also called a CMP, is a collection of blood tests that assesses these various metabolic processes. These processes refer to the different functions that are performed by vital organs such as the liver and kidney. In this article, we shall take a closer look at this.
Just as is the case with other assessments of organ function, a CMP is conducted by obtaining a blood sample from the patient’s vein. Ideally, the patient should perform an overnight fast as the tests are best interpreted as a fasting sample. The sample is run through a special machine that prints out the various biochemical results.
The various blood parameters that are checked are listed below.
1. Liver Function Tests
These analyze the different processes within the liver. The liver is responsible for getting rid of toxins from the body and also for synthesizing proteins. The tests conducted include albumin, globulin, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase.
2. Kidney Function Tests
The kidney purifies the blood. It controls the level of electrolytes within the body. Commonly included tests include sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine and chloride.
3. Blood Glucose
This is a measure of the function of the pancreas (pancreas produces insulin). Elevated level of blood glucose is indicative of low insulin levels and is the underlying abnormality in diabetes mellitus.
4. Blood Lipid Levels
This checks cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. High levels of lipids in the blood are a well known risk factor in the development of a condition called atherosclerosis, a well recognized risk factor in the development of heart attacks and strokes.
All these values are not the same in all individuals – they lie between a particular range. When certain values are elevated, they can indicate the presence of an underling illness and will require looking into.
For example, elevated levels of urea and creatinine can indicate damage to the kidney. The damage can be due to medication, injury or even low blood pressure. Liver damage can be seen in patients who consume large amount of alcohol regularly or have developed an infection (called hepatitis).
Performing a comprehensive medical panel is one of the most important tests in helping make a clinical diagnosis when a patient is unwell. While all of them may not be performed, they still form an integral part of every patient’s work up.