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Isolated hyperCKemia

Isolated hyperCKemia

Reviewed May 2014

What is isolated hyperCKemia?

Isolated hyperCKemia is a condition characterized by elevated levels of an enzyme called creatine kinase in the blood. In affected individuals, levels of this enzyme are typically 3 to 10 times higher than normal. While elevated creatine kinase often accompanies various muscle diseases, individuals with isolated hyperCKemia have no muscle weakness or other symptoms. Some people with this condition have abnormalities of muscle cells that can be seen with a microscope, such as unusual variability in the size of muscle fibers, but these changes do not affect the function of the muscle.

How common is isolated hyperCKemia?

The prevalence of isolated hyperCKemia is unknown. Because the condition has no symptoms, it is likely that some cases never come to medical attention.

What genes are related to isolated hyperCKemia?

Isolated hyperCKemia is one of a group of conditions called caveolinopathies, which are caused by mutations in the CAV3 gene. The CAV3 gene provides instructions for making a protein called caveolin-3, which is found in the membrane surrounding muscle cells. This protein is the main component of caveolae, which are small pouches in the muscle cell membrane. Within the caveolae, the caveolin-3 protein acts as a scaffold to organize other molecules that are important for cell signaling and maintenance of the cell structure.

CAV3 gene mutations result in a shortage of caveolin-3 protein in the muscle cell membrane and a reduction in the number of caveolae. Researchers suggest that a shortage of caveolae impairs the structural integrity of muscle cells, interferes with cell signaling, and causes the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis). Creatine kinase is released when muscle cells are broken down. Although no muscle weakness occurs in isolated hyperCKemia, destruction of some muscle cells may lead to the elevated blood levels of creatine kinase that characterize this condition.

In addition to isolated hyperCKemia, CAV3 gene mutations can cause other caveolinopathies including CAV3-related distal myopathy, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, rippling muscle disease, and a heart disorder called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Several CAV3 gene mutations have been found to cause different caveolinopathies in different individuals. It is unclear why a single CAV3 gene mutation may cause different patterns of signs and symptoms, even within the same family.

Read more about the CAV3 gene.

Read more about limb-girdle muscular dystrophy; CAV3-related distal myopathy; and rippling muscle disease.

How do people inherit isolated hyperCKemia?

This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. In most cases, an affected person has one parent with isolated hyperCKemia or another caveolinopathy. Rare cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no history of caveolinopathies in their family.

Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of isolated hyperCKemia?

These resources address the diagnosis or management of isolated hyperCKemia and may include treatment providers.

You might also find information on the diagnosis or management of isolated hyperCKemia in Educational resources.

General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook.

To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about isolated hyperCKemia?

You may find the following resources about isolated hyperCKemia helpful. These materials are written for the general public.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for isolated hyperCKemia?

  • elevated serum CPK
  • H-CK
  • idiopathic hyperCKemia
  • idiopathic persistent elevation of serum creatine kinase

For more information about naming genetic conditions, see the Genetics Home Reference Condition Naming Guidelines and How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.

What if I still have specific questions about isolated hyperCKemia?

Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?

What glossary definitions help with understanding isolated hyperCKemia?

apoptosis ; autosomal ; autosomal dominant ; cardiomyopathy ; cell ; cell membrane ; CPK ; creatine ; creatine kinase ; distal ; enzyme ; gene ; hypertrophic ; idiopathic ; inherited ; kinase ; muscle cell ; muscle cells ; muscular dystrophy ; mutation ; prevalence ; protein

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (6 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: May 2014
Published: February 1, 2016