PK

Alternative names 
Pyruvate kinase

Definition

This is a blood test to detect abnormally low levels of pyruvate kinase (PK), an enzyme that helps convert glucose to energy when oxygen is low (termed anaerobic metabolism).

PK is found in red blood cells, and if deficient, the red bloods cells break down more rapidly than usual. This destruction can result in hemolytic anemia, or too few oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Also check Pyruvate kinase.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.

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