CMP vs BMP: Here’s the Difference

CMP vs BMP: Here’s the Difference

There are many different tests your doctor might administer during a routine checkup.  Two of these are a basic metabolic panel, or BMP, and a comprehensive metabolic panel, or CMP.  Both of these are blood tests that measure substances that have to do with metabolism.  Metabolism refers to how your body breaks down food and turns it into energy.

What does a BMP test for?

The BMP is the simpler of the two tests.  It checks the levels of eight different chemicals in the body.  These include

·         Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) – checks the amount of nitrogen in your blood to see how well your kidneys are working

·         Creatinine – another kidney test

·         Glucose – blood sugar levels

·         Carbon dioxide – a test that could show problems with your kidneys or lungs

·         Calcium – important in the kidneys, bones, and thyroid

·         Sodium – important for fluid balance in the body

·         Potassium – also vital for fluid balance

·         Chloride – an electrolyte that is needed for fluid balance

What does a CMP test for?

The CMP covers more than the BMP does.  That’s why it’s called the comprehensive metabolic panel.  In addition to the eight tests listed above, the CMP measures

·         Albumin – a protein that can indicate liver or kidney concerns

·         Total protein – checks overall protein levels in the blood

·         Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – liver enzyme that can show liver or bone problems

·         Alanine amino transferase (ALT or SGPT) – an enzyme that can indicate liver damage

·         Aspartate amino transferase (AST or SGOT) – another enzyme that can indicate liver damage

·         Bilirubin – what the liver creates when it breaks down red blood cells

Why have a CMP vs BMP?

A doctor may recommend CMP vs BMP for different reasons.  A basic metabolic panel is usually used to focus on electrolyte imbalance, blood sugar, and how well the blood is being filtered.  Kidney and heart conditions can be discovered with a BMP.  A comprehensive panel can also show how these things are working as well as liver function.  It measures protein levels in the blood, showing how the liver, bones, and other organs are working together.

A BMP is usually recommended by a doctor for a general metabolism overview.  The test may also be administered if there are concerns present about the kidneys or blood glucose levels.  A CMP can be used in these instances as well, but it is usually recommended specifically for concerns about the liver.

How do I prepare for a CMP or BMP?

Many patients are asked to fast for 10 to 12 hours before having a metabolic panel test.  Drinking water is still allowed during this time.  While fasting tests are often more accurate, the test is sometimes included as part of a routine health exam, depending on age and risk factors for certain diseases.  In the case that your doctor wants you to have a CMP or BMP during a checkup, you will not have to go without food beforehand.  This is called a random test.

What are good test results?

There is no specific “good” result for a CMP or BMP.  Because the test covers such a wide range of areas, normal looks different from person to person.  Your results paper will have a column of reference ranges and a column with your levels.  Ideally, your numbers should fall within the range in the first column.  If they don’t, your doctor may want to run more tests to see if there was a fluke or if there is a possible health problem.

Where can I get a CMP or BMP?

BASS Urgent Care offers metabolic panel tests and many other laboratory services. Call (925) 329-3718, schedule an appointment online, or simply walk in Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.