C- Reactive Protein Quantitative
What is CRP?
C-reactive protein (CRP) Test detects the presence of CRP in blood. CRP is a nonspecific marker of inflammation and it can rise in response to inflammatory conditions including infection, trauma, heart and autoimmune diseases. Other tests are performed along with CRP to diagnose a particular condition and determine the location. It also helps to monitor the treatment post an infection and inflammation.
During the previous wave of pandemic, it was seen that people with elevated levels of CRP showed many-fold increase in the risk of developing severe COVID infection. Hence, getting tested for CRP during COVID infection and recovery phase can be crucial to identify the risk of severe disease.
Why is CRP done?
The C-reactive Protein Test is done:
· To help detect the presence of an acute bacterial infection
· To help detect autoimmune diseases
· To monitor treatment for infection, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer
What does CRP Measure?
CRP Test measures the levels of CRP in blood to detect the presence of an inflammation or to monitor the treatment and progress of an inflammatory condition. C-reactive Protein or CRP is an acute phase reactant protein which is produced and secreted by the liver in response to an inflammation in the body, which may be caused by tissue injury, infection, or autoimmune diseases. CRP levels increase in patients with trauma, heart attack, autoimmune diseases, bacterial infections, sepsis, post surgery, cancer, etc. CRP levels are often increased before the onset of other symptoms of inflammation such as pain, fever, etc. CRP levels in blood fall as the inflammation subsides.
It is a non-specific test. It can neither diagnose a condition by itself nor can it determine the location of a particular inflammation or disease. Other tests along with physical examination are performed to diagnose a particular condition and determine the location.
A variant of the CRP test is the High Sensitivity C-reactive Protein Test (hs-CRP) which is more sensitive for CRP levels and can detect blood CRP levels at a lower concentration than the standard CRP Test. The hs-CRP Test is performed usually to determine the risk of development of cardiovascular diseases in otherwise healthy individuals.
Interpreting CRP results
Normal CRP level: Below 10 mg/L
Higher CRP levels than the normal range indicate the presence of an inflammation which may be caused by an infection, trauma, autoimmune diseases, cancers, etc.
The CRP Test is used to detect the presence of an inflammatory condition. Other tests and physical examinations are performed to diagnose a particular condition.
CRP levels are monitored at regular intervals to determine flare-ups in a chronic inflammatory condition, as well as to monitor response to treatment.