The basic metabolic panel is a group of blood tests that provides information about your body's metabolism.
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.
The following are normal ranges for the blood chemicals tested:
- BUN: 7 to 20 mg/dL
- CO2 (carbon dioxide): 20 to 29 mmol/L
- Creatinine: 0.8 to 1.2 mg/dL
- Glucose: 64 to 100 mg/dL
- Serum chloride: 101 to 111 mmol/L
- Serum potassium: 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L
- Serum sodium: 136 to 144 mEq/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 medication side effects. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your results from each test.
SMAC7; Sequential multi-channel analysis with computer-7; SMA7; Metabolic panel 7; CHEM-7
Kellerman RD. Endocrine and metabolic disorders. In: Kellerman RD, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2015. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 11.
Oh, MS. 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. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 14.
Review Date 4/30/2015
Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.