C-reactive protein (CRP) is the most useful marker of the acute phase response. It rises within hours of the inflammatory stimulus and has a half life of about 8 hours, thus making it a useful marker for both diagnosis and monitoring. Raised levels can be found in chronic active inflammatory disorders, microbial infection and following surgery.
In most normal individuals, CRP is an acute-phase protein that is present in serum and plasma in very low concentrations. CRP concentrations become elevated in response to many pathological conditions, including infection, tissue injury, response to surgery, inflammatory disorders, and associated diseases.
Increases in CRP values are non-specific for many disease processes and should not be interpreted without a complete clinical evaluation.
Although elevated serum CRP levels are a non-specific response, serial measurement of CRP levels can be a valuable aid to diagnosis and management of the specific condition causing the elevation.
0 – 5 mg/L
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rheumatic fever
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Myocardial infarction
- Connective tissue disease
- Bacterial, viral, fungal, or parastic infection
- Other causes of ongoing inflammation
Serum or Lithium Heparin Plasma