Topic Overview

A comprehensive metabolic panel is a
blood test that measures your sugar (glucose) level,
electrolyte and fluid balance,
kidney function, and liver function.

Glucose is a type of sugar your body uses for energy. Electrolytes keep
your body’s fluids in balance. They also help keep your body working normally,
including your heart rhythm, muscle contraction, and brain function. The
kidneys help keep the right balance of water, salts, and minerals in the blood.
They also filter out waste and other unneeded substances from the blood. The
liver helps with digestion and produces some vitamins and other
substances that the body needs. It also controls the amounts of glucose,
protein, and fat in the blood and releases substances that keep your
immune system healthy.

Your doctor may
order a comprehensive metabolic panel as part of a regular health examination.
Your doctor may use this test to check on a medical condition, such as
high blood pressure, or to help diagnose a medical
condition, such as

This panel measures the blood
levels of albumin, blood
urea nitrogen, calcium, carbon dioxide, chloride, creatinine, glucose, potassium, sodium, total bilirubin and protein, and liver enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and aspartate aminotransferase).

You may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 10 to 12
hours before you have this blood test.

Related Information


Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017