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Asymptomatic/pauci-symptomatic creatine kinase elevations (hyperckemia)


Correspondence to: N.J. Silvestri; e-mail:


Neuromuscular clinicians are frequently asked to evaluate patients referred for asymptomatic elevations in creatine kinase (CK), a catalytic enzyme that combines creatine and ATP to form phosphocreatine and ADP. This reaction is crucial for cellular energy generation and metabolism. This laboratory finding, often referred to in simplified lexicon as asymptomatic hyperCKemia, continues to generate controversy at several levels, including definition, the extent of evaluation, and the yield of diagnostic testing. In this review, we summarize the literature based on series of patients with asymptomatic hyperCKemia and provide a rational clinical approach to reveal identifiable underlying causes. Muscle Nerve 47: 805–815, 2013