What are the cause of elevated creatine kinase (CK)?

Causes of elevated creatine kinase (CK) AKA CPK (creatine phosphokinase)

  • Inflammatory myositis +/_ vasculitis
  • Muscular dystrophy 
  • Motor neuron disease 
  • Alcohol, drugs (especially statins) 
  • Myocardial infarction (The CK-MB is a cardiac-specific isoform which is disproportionately elevated compared with total CPK)
  • Trauma, strenuous exercise, prolonged immobilization after a fall 
  • Hypothyroidism, metabolic myopathy 
  • Viral myositis 

creatine kinase


  • Davidson's principles and practice of medicine 23rd Edition; page 991
  • Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry 30th Edition (2015); page: 69, 127, 135, 663 (for image)

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