Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test analyzes the state of vital organs. It's a useful tool to evaluate many medical conditions like liver or kidney disease.


The metabolism is formed by a series of biochemical processes that happen within our bodies. Through these processes, our bodies can perform vital functions like transforming food into energy. When our metabolism fails, doctors run what is called the comprehensive metabolic panel test.

In this article, we will elaborate on the procedure, results, and the importance of the comprehensive metabolic panel.

What is a comprehensive metabolic panel? 

Also known as chemistry panel of Chem-14, consists of various blood tests that provide relevant information about your metabolism, including:

  • The health state of the kidneys and liver
  • Blood glucose
  • Blood proteins
  • Acid/base balance
  • Electrolyte balance

The test is referred to as Chem-14 because it analyzes 14 substances through the following tests:


Protein is necessary for the proper development and restoration of cells. Out of range levels of protein might indicate kidney or liver disease, malnutrition, and some types of cancer.

  • Albumin. A protein produced in the liver. It conforms around 60% of the blood’s total protein. Normal range is 3.4 to 5.4 g/dL.
  • Protein(total). Refers to all the amount of blood protein, including albumin and globulins. Normal range is 6.0 to 8.3 g/dL


It is the main mineral in the body. Calcium is in charge of the functions of the skeletal system, muscles, hormones, and nerves. Excess or deficiency of calcium might indicate malnutrition, kidney disease, neurological imbalances, or pancreatitis. Normal range is 8.6 to 10.2 mg/dL.


Represents the main source of energy for the body. Abnormal glucose levels might suggest different types of diabetes or hypoglycemia. Normal range for glucose levels is 70 to 99 mg/dL.


Excess or deficiency of electrolytes might indicate dehydration and kidney dysfunction/failure. The functions and normal ranges of electrolytes are:

  • CO2 (carbon dioxide). As the CO2 decreases, the blood pH increases; and vice-versa. Normal range is 23 to 29 meq/L.
  • Chloride. Regulates the body fluids and helps to balance the pH. Normal range is 96 to 106 meq/L.
  • Sodium. It helps to maintain body fluids in balance. It is vital for the normal operation of nerve and muscle functions. Normal range is 136 to 145 meq/L.
  • Potassium. It is essential to control muscle contractions and nerve signals. It regulates body fluids. Normal range is 3.5 to 5.1 meq/L.

Kidney Tests

The comprehensive metabolic panel tests kidneys by analyzing the next waste products:

  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen). It is filtered by the kidneys and released in the urine. Abnormal levels might indicate kidney or liver disease and heart failure. Normal range is 6 to 20 mg/dL.
  • Creatinine. Produced by muscle breakdowns. Abnormal levels might mean malnutrition or kidney dysfunction. Normal range is 0.6 to 1.3 mg/dL.

Liver Tests 

It analyzes different enzymes found in the liver, kidney, heart, and other tissues. It also tests waste products to determine if the liver is in good condition.

  • ALP (alkaline phosphatase). The abnormal levels of this enzyme are associated with liver disease, malnutrition, or bone disorders. The normal range is 44 to 147 IU/L.
  • ALT (alanine aminotransferase). Unusual ranges of this enzyme might suggest liver damage. The normal range is 7 to 40 IU/L.
  • AST (aspartate aminotransferase). Abnormal levels of the AST enzyme might indicate liver damage. The normal range is 10 to 34 IU/L.
  • Bilirubin. The abnormal levels of this waste product might suggest liver disease or bile duct obstruction. Normal range is 0.3 to 1.9 mg/dL.


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