BMP, Basic Metabolic Panel

The BMP is often ordered by your caregiver because its components give your caregivers important information about the current status of your kidneys, electrolyte and acid/base balance, blood sugar, and calcium levels. Significant changes in these test results can indicate acute problems, such as kidney failure, insulin shock or diabetic coma, respiratory distress, or heart rhythm changes. If your caregiver wants more information, they may order a Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP), a group of 14 tests that includes the BMP.

THE BMP USUALLY INCLUDES:

  • Glucose

  • Potassium

  • Sodium

  • Calcium

  • Chloride

  • Electrolytes

  • CO2 (carbon dioxide, bicarbonate)

The concentrations of sodium and potassium are tightly regulated by the body as is the balance between the four tests. Electrolyte (and acid-base) imbalances can be present with a wide variety of acute and chronic illnesses. Chloride and CO2 tests are rarely ordered by themselves.

KIDNEY TESTS

  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen)

  • Creatinine

  • BUN and creatinine are waste products filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. Increased concentrations in the blood may indicate a temporary or long standing decrease in kidney function. When not ordered as part of the BMP, they are still usually ordered together.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

The BMP uses a tube of blood collected by inserting a needle into a vein your arm. Ask your doctor whether you should be fasting for 10 to 12 hours prior to the blood draw. Depending on the reason for ordering the BMP, it may be drawn after fasting or on a random basis.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.