Does this test have other names?
Connecting peptide insulin, insulin C-peptide, proinsulin C-peptide
What is this test?
This blood test looks at how well your body's makes insulin. It's used to help diagnose
blood sugar disorders.
Your body needs the hormone insulin to move sugar through your bloodstream to your
cells for energy. A healthy pancreas makes equal amounts of insulin and the protein
C-peptide. By measuring your C-peptide, your healthcare provider can also learn about
your insulin level.
Why do I need this test?
Measuring C-peptide can show whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In type 1
diabetes, your body doesn't make any insulin. In type 2 diabetes, either your body
doesn't make enough insulin or your cells can't use it normally.
If you have diabetes, the C-peptide test can show how well your treatment is working.
The C-peptide test may also be done to find the cause of low blood sugar. Or to check
the activity of tumors that make insulin.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider also might order:
Blood glucose test. This measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood
Glucagon test. This measures the level of another hormone made by the pancreas. Glucagon helps raise
A1c test. This is also known as glycosylated hemoglobin blood test. This is a measure of your
blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. It shows how well your diabetes is being
Insulin assay. This is a test that directly measures your insulin levels.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
Test results are given in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Normal results are within
the range of 0.5 to 2.7 ng/mL, but can vary depending upon the lab that is used for
A high level of C-peptide could mean a number of conditions. These include a kidney
problem or an insulinoma, a tumor of the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. It
could also mean you need to adjust the amount of insulin you take.
A level of C-peptide that's lower than normal means that your body isn't making enough
insulin or that your pancreas isn't working properly.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Taking insulin for your diabetes can raise your C-peptide levels. Your C-peptide level
can also change if your kidneys aren't working properly. The timing of your most recent
meal may affect your C-peptide level.
How do I get ready for this test?
Follow your provider's instructions for not eating or drinking anything before the
test. The test may also be done after you've eaten. Tell your provider knows about
all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines
that don't need a prescription and any illegal drug use.