Health Information

Basic metabolic panel

Basic metabolic panel


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

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

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is typically 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
    • CO2 (carbon dioxide): 20 to 29 mmol/L
    • Creatinine: 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dL
    • Glucose: 64 to 128 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 doctor 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 doctor about the meaning of your results from each test.

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

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Review Date: 4/29/2013  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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