A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a blood test that CLL patients should receive which screens for multiple diseases. It tests for 14 chemicals to evaluate liver and kidney health, blood sugar levels, the acid and base balance of the blood, and the fluid/electrolyte balance. The information gained from the test helps influence treatment decisions for CLL patients and gives insight into the status of the disease.
Components of the CMP Test
- Glucose: Measures the amount of sugar in the blood and is used to diagnose diabetes or monitor the effectiveness of treatment
- Electrolytes: These are minerals in the blood that help regulate various bodily functions. The CMP will measure levels of carbon dioxide, sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are important for maintaining proper fluid balance and nerve function
- Kidney function: Measures the levels of waste products removed from the blood by the kidneys like creatinine (Cr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). These values help assess the health of kidney function. If levels are high, this can indicate kidney damage or disease
- Liver function: Measures levels of liver enzymes such as ALP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine transaminase), and AST (aspartate aminotransferase), levels of bilirubin (a waste product produced by the liver) that can indicate liver disease or other conditions
- Total protein: Analyzes levels of albumin and globulins in the blood. This can be used to assess liver and kidney function
- Calcium: Checks levels of calcium, which is important for bone health and nerve function. Abnormal levels can indicate various conditions, such as kidney disease or hyperparathyroidism
Preparing for the CMP Test
To prepare for the test, patients are typically asked to fast for a certain period of time before the test, usually 10-12 hours (speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have about fasting). They may also be asked to avoid certain medications or supplements that could interfere with the results of the test.
Steps of the Test
A phlebotomist or other healthcare provider that is trained in drawing blood samples will perform the test. They'll locate a vein in one of the patient's arms and sterilize the area using an antiseptic solution. A small needle is inserted (the patient may feel a brief sting when the needle is inserted and removed) and a small blood sample is drawn into a test tube. The needle is removed and a bandage is placed onto the test site applying pressure. The test takes less than 5 minutes.
The samples are sent to a lab to be analyzed. Patients can expect their test results back within 1-2 days.
If you have any questions or concerns about the test, please reach out to your CLL specialist.
about the author
Megan joined HealthTree as a Community Coordinator for CLL in 2022. She is the daughter of a blood cancer patient and has found a passion for helping support patients and caregivers to advance research for their cure and improve their quality of life. In her spare time, she loves to be around family, sew, and cook.