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BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a prognostically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disease. Blood creatine kinase (CK) level has been inconsistently reported as a prognostic biomarker and raised levels in some ALS patients have been presumed to reflect muscle wasting, which is also variable. METHODS: MEDLINE was systematically searched for papers related to CK in ALS and the relevant studies were reviewed. Using data from 222 ALS patients in a multi-centre, prospective, longitudinal cohort, survival analyses using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were undertaken in relation to CK and other prognostic factors. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies investigating CK in ALS were identified, of which 10 specifically studied the link between CK and survival. Five studies observed no association, four found that higher CK levels were associated with longer survival and one, the opposite. In our cohort (n = 222), 39% of patients had a CK level above the laboratory reference range. Levels were higher in males compared to females (p 

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurol

Publication Date



Biomarker, Creatine kinase, Motor neuron disease