M At The Doctor

C reactive protein (CRP)

C-reactive protein, also known as CRP, is a protein that rises in the blood when inflammation occurs. This inflammation may be caused by an infectious disease, inflammatory, tumoral, etc.

CRP an early biological marker of inflammation. Be careful because there may be inflammation with normal CRP. C-reactive protein is made by the liver and secreted in the blood.

How to dose C-reactive protein?

The C-reactive protein, taken by a blood test, is assayed in a medical analysis laboratory. It is not necessary to be fasting. Its dosage makes it possible to highlight an inflammation. C-reactive protein is not specific for a particular disease. To refine the diagnosis, the doctor usually asks for the VS (or sedimentation rate) assay at the same time as the CRP assay.

If the C-reactive protein (CRP) is less than 6 mg per liter (varies by laboratory), it means that there is no inflammatory process. The increase can be moderate to very important. The level of CRP reflects fairly well the degree of inflammation.

In the vast majority of cases, other components such as white blood cells (leucocytes), red blood cells (red blood cells), and other biochemical elements such as minerals, enzymes of certain organs, etc. are measured in the blood. Prescribing the blood test depends on the information the doctor is looking for to make a diagnosis. In children, C-reactive protein is important to guide the diagnosis in case of fever, for example.

The result of the CRP assay is obtained quickly. After a few hours, the doctor can be informed.

What to do in case of high CRP?

When a doctor prescribes a CRP, it is that he seeks an increase in the C-reactive protein, which would testify to an inflammatory syndrome. The cause may be an infection, an autoimmune disease, a tumor, etc. But it also happens that the CRP is slightly increased without there being a real disease.

It is up to the prescribing physician to interpret the result of the C-reactive protein, based on clinical information obtained from the patient, and other parameters of the blood test. You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS !

Author: Ladane Azernour Bonnefoy

Expert Consultant: Dr. St├ęphane Vignes, Head of the Lymphology Department at Cognacq-Jay Hospital, Paris.

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