C-Reactive Protein Test
(CRP)

Alternate Names

  • hs-CRP (High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein)
  • Ultra-Sensitive CRP

CRPs are produced by the liver when there is a bacterial infection present in the body. CRP is a better indicator of infection or inflammation than the commonly used ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), since CRP levels are quicker to rise during illness and to fall during recovery than ESR levels. CRP levels are also used to diagnose an acute heart attack, but levels take longer to rise than CK-MB levels; and to monitor whether there is ongoing heart damage following a heart attack.

High CRP levels are seen in people with infections such as meningitis or tuberculosis; autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatic fever, SLE (systemic lupus erythmatosis), or Crohn's disease; or tissue damage from a heart attack or a blood clot in the lung that causes lung damage. Blood levels are not able to determine specifically where the damage has occurred or what is causing it, and further tests will need to be run to make a definite diagnosis.

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