CHEM-7

Definition

The basic metabolic panel is a group of blood tests that provides information about your body's metabolism.

Alternative Names

SMAC7; Sequential multi-channel analysis with computer-7; SMA7; Metabolic panel 7; CHEM-7

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

How to Prepare for the Test

You should not eat or drink for 8 hours before the test.

How the Test will Feel

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done to evaluate:

  • Kidney function
  • Blood acid/base balance
  • Blood sugar levels

In some cases, the test also is used to check blood levels of calcium and a protein called albumin.

Normal Results

The following are normal ranges for the blood chemicals tested:

  • BUN: 7 to 20 mg/dL (2.50 to 7.14 mmol/L)
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide): 20 to 29 mmol/L
  • Creatinine: 0.8 to 1.2 mg/dL (70.72 to 106.08 micromol/L)
  • Glucose: 64 to 100 mg/dL (3.55 to 5.55 mmol/L)
  • Serum chloride: 101 to 111 mmol/L
  • Serum potassium: 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L (3.7 to 5.2 mmol/L)
  • Serum sodium: 136 to 144 mEq/L (136 to 144 mmol/L)

Key to abbreviations:

  • L = liter
  • dL = deciliter = 0.1 liter
  • mg = milligram
  • mmol = millimole
  • mEq = milliequivalents

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results can be due to a variety of different medical conditions, including kidney failure, breathing problems, diabetes or diabetes-related complications, and medicine side effects. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your results from each test.

The basic metatabolic panel typically measures these substances in a sample of blood:

  • BUN (blood urea nitrogen)
  • Creatinine
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide)
  • Glucose
  • Serum chloride
  • Serum potassium
  • Serum sodium

References

Bope ET, Kellerman RD. Endocrine and metabolic disorders. In: Bope ET, Kellerman RD, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2017. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 5.

Oh MS, Briefel G. Evaluation of renal function, water, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 14.

Review Date: 21/05/2017

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Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Health. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

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