C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
Why It Is Done
A C-reactive protein (CRP) test is done to:
- Check for infection after surgery. CRP levels normally rise within 2 to 6 hours of surgery and then go down by the third day after surgery. If CRP levels stay elevated 3 days after surgery, an infection may be present.
- Identify and keep track of infections and diseases
that cause inflammation, such as:
- Cancer of the lymph nodes (Reference lymphoma Opens New Window).
- Diseases of the immune system, such as Reference lupus Opens New Window.
- Painful swelling of the blood vessels in the head and neck (Reference giant cell arteritis Opens New Window).
- Painful swelling of the tissues that line the joints (Reference rheumatoid arthritis Opens New Window).
- Swelling and bleeding of the intestines (Reference inflammatory bowel disease Opens New Window).
- Infection of a bone (Reference osteomyelitis Opens New Window).
- Check to see how well treatment is working, such as treatment for cancer or for an infection. CRP levels go up quickly and then become normal quickly if you are responding to treatment measures.
A special type of CRP test, the high-sensitivity CRP test (hs-CRP), may be done to find out if you have an increased chance of having a sudden heart problem, such as a Reference heart attack Opens New Window. Inflammation can damage the inner lining of the arteries and make having a heart attack more likely. But the connection between high CRP levels and heart attack risk is not understood very well.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference George Philippides, MD - Cardiology