C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
The C-reactive protein (CRP) test is used by a health practitioner to detect inflammation. CRP is an acute phase reactant, a protein made by the liver and released into the blood within a few hours after tissue injury, the start of an infection, or other cause of inflammation. The CRP test is not diagnostic of any condition, but it can be used together with signs and symptoms and other tests to evaluate an individual for an acute or chronic inflammatory condition.
The level of CRP in the blood is normally low.
A high or increasing amount of CRP in the blood suggests the presence of inflammation but will not identify its location or the cause. In individuals suspected of having a serious bacterial infection, a high CRP can be confirmatory. In people with chronic inflammatory conditions, high levels of CRP suggest a flare-up or that treatment has not been effective.
If the CRP level is initially elevated and drops, it means that the inflammation or infection is subsiding and/or responding to treatment.
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