C-reactive protein

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Also known as: CRP
Formal name: C-reactive protein

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To identify the presence of inflammation, to determine its severity, and to monitor response to treatment. A more sensitive form of the test, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), is used to assess your risk of heart disease.

When to Get Tested?

When your doctor suspects that you might be suffering from an inflammatory disorder (as with certain types of arthritis and autoimmune disorders or inflammatory bowel disease) or to check for the possibility of infection (especially after surgery)

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm

The Test Sample

What is being tested?

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein made by the liver and secreted into the blood. It is often the first evidence of inflammation or an infection in the body. Its concentration increases in the blood within a few hours after the start of infection or other inflammatory injury. The level of CRP can increase many hundred-fold in response to inflammation and then drop relatively quickly as soon as the inflammation passes, making it a valuable test to monitor effectiveness of treatment.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.

The Test

Common Questions

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.