Determine the presence of C-reactive protein. Nonspecific, but most sensitive indicator of inflammation and/or necrosis. A baseline presurgical CRP may be useful in determining postoperative infection.
0.0 - 0.6 mg/dL
- Acute Phase Reactant
- CRP Screen
- Cardiac Risk C-Reactive Protein
- C-REACTIVE PROTEIN SCREEN
Always ordered with alpha-1 antitrypsin, as inflammation and/or necrosis may cause a false elevation of A-1 antitrypsin. This can be accounted for by the CRP level performed concomitantly. CRP rises before the sedimentation rate. C-reactive protein appears 6 to 24 hours after onset of inflammation or necrosis, decreases with lessening inflammation, and disappears upon recovery. CRP is frequently elevated during pregnancy, in patients on birth control pills and with some IUDS. False positives may occur in some patients over 60 years of age. This test may be useful to assess therapy. Though not diagnostic for any specific disease, the CRP is found consistently in bacterial infections, active rheumatic fever, acute myocardial infarction, widespread malignant diseases, active rheumatoid arthritis, some viral infections, and tuberculosis. CRP may also increase following surgical operations and following a large percentage of blood transfusions. CRP can function analogously to immunoglobin to activate the classic complement pathway. CRP is not transported across the placenta. Daily quantitative levels parallel the activity of the inflammatory disease process. Changes of 0.5 mg/dL are significant.