The purpose of chemistry panels is to determine a person's general health status by ordering an array of tests. As an example, they can help determine the body's electrolyte balance and/or the status of several major organs. A blood sample, usually drawn from a vein, is used for testing.
The number and type of tests included in specific panels, as well as the names of the panels, are standardized on a national level. Chemical panels can include the following:
Renal Panel (also called Kidney Function Panel) – contains tests such as albumin, creatinine, BUN, eGFR to evaluate kidney function
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) – usually includes 14 tests. It provides the same information as the BMP with the addition of the health of your liver and important blood proteins
Electrolyte Panel – helpful for detecting a problem with the body's fluid and electrolyte balance
Lipid Panel – used to assess a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease
Liver Panel (also called Hepatic Function Panel) – used to screen for, detect, evaluate, and monitor acute and chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis), liver disease and/or damage
Most laboratories offer the same CMP and BMP tests, but some other panels may be tailored to meet the needs of the health care provider ordering the tests. (When a laboratory changes the tests in a CMP or BMP, it usually also changes the name to avoid confusion.)