Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: Use, Process, and Results

CMP is in charge of checking the condition of your kidney and liver as these are essential in the process of metabolism. During this test, you can also expect that your acid/base balance will be checked.

comprehensive metabolic panel

To start off, you should know what a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is. It is a combination of blood tests that check the chemistry of your body. It will also determine how the body uses energy or metabolism.

You are probably aware of this considering that it is always part of your yearly checkup. Other than seeing the chemistry of your body, CMP can also help you check if you have chronic conditions or if there are pills that are harmful to your body.

It is important to note that you need to avoid drinking or eating for at least 12 hours before you can take part in this test.

Learn more about CMP below.

What You Need to Know About CMP

Other than the basic facts about CMP, you should know that there are 14 tests in this kind of exam. The purpose of this is to accurately check your metabolism. If you are not aware of it yet, metabolism is the where your body gets energy.

CMP is also in charge of checking the condition of your kidney and liver as these are essential in the process of metabolism. During this test, you can also expect that your acid/base balance will be checked. It will also measure the number of electrolytes in your body. But what are electrolytes? These are mineral salts that are part of various cellular processes such as keeping your acidity (PH) and body fluid levels.

As mentioned, there are 14 tests included in CMP. Here are the tests:

  • Total protein
  • Total bilirubin
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Glucose
  • Creatinine
  • Chloride
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Calcium
  • Blood urea nitrogen
  • Aspartate aminotransferase
  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Albumin

Take note that there can be instances when you do not have to undergo all these kinds of tests. It will still vary depending on your body type and medical history. So before taking CMP, be sure that you have the approval of your doctor.

On the other hand, there can be instances wherein you will be asked to take more tests including the following:

  • Hemoglobin
  • Transferrin
  • Ferritin
  • Serum iron level
  • Complete blood count
  • Urine tests
  • GGT
  • Prealbumin

What happens during the test?

For starters, you need to make sure that you did the fasting. You are not allowed to exercise as well. If you fail to do this, the results might be accurate. Even being dehydrated and pregnant can have an effect on the result.

In addition, you need to let your doctor know all the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbs that you are taking. This is to make sure that there will be no side effects after the test.

Once you are ready, the medical staff will get your blood sample. It will be done by using a needle to get blood from your vein.

What should be the result?

After the medical doctor gets your blood sample, he or she will then check the result through equipment. You might be then surprised that some tests have more results than the others. This is mainly because each testing center uses different equipment. So there will be various ways to check your blood. Below are the suggested “normal” results:

  • Bilirubin: 0.3 to 1.9 mg/Dl
  • Aspartate amino transferase (AST): 10 to 34 IU/L
  • Alanine amino transferase (ALT): 7 to 40 IU/L
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): 44 to 147 IU/L
  • Creatinine: 0.6 – 1.3 mg/Dl
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN): 6 – 20 mg/Dl
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): 23 to 29 meq/L
  • Chloride: 96 to 106 meq/L
  • Potassium: 3.5 to 5.1 meq/L
  • Sodium: 136 to 145 meq/L
  • Total protein: 6.0 – 8.3 g/Dl
  • Albumin: 3.4 to 5.4 g/dL

In short, this exam checks your calcium, glucose, proteins, electrolytes, kidneys, and liver. If your sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbon dioxide are not within normal range, then it could mean that you have a kidney or heart disease.

Meanwhile, if your proteins get a low mark, it means that you have a kidney or liver disease. It could also mean that you have a problem with nutrition. A low grade in glucose can mean that you have hypoglycemia while low calcium amounts can result in problems in your pancreas, bones, or kidney.

Are there disadvantages with CMP?

While it is great to take this test to see your body’s condition, there might be risks as well. One of these will be when the medical staff had a mistake when getting your blood. As you may know, getting your blood sample through a needle is not easy.

In fact, looking for the vein in your arm or hand can be tricky, especially when the professional is not used to doing it. So in case, the medical staff fails to get the vein right, you might experience infection, bruising, bleeding, or even feeling lightheaded. Although this cannot be avoided, all you just have to hope for is that the needle is clean. Otherwise, you might end up having other complications.


Comprehensive metabolic panel or CMP is a group of tests done to check your body’s metabolism. It can also detect deficiencies caused by the medications that you take. This is why you can expect that companies would require you to take CMP every year. In this way, you can easily know if you have health complications like liver and kidney disease.

There are important notes to remember before taking the test. One would be not to eat or drink within 12 hours before the test. Second would be to avoid exercising. You should take note of these well if you wish to get accurate results.

However, you should know as well that there are risks connected to this test. There can be times when the medical staff will have a hard time looking for your vein or the needle is not that clean. This can result in bleeding or bruising. You will know that the area pricked is not your vein when there is pain felt. Afterward, the area might be a bit sore. Other than that, you should not worry about undergoing CMP.

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