C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein that appears in the blood, which is produced in the liver. The test results help as an inflammation marker for the body and the level of the protein in the blood rises with the increase of inflammation.
What causes C-reactive protein to rise
C-reactive protein can be elevated due to inflammations caused by inflammatory arthritis, burns, various infections, trauma and even some kinds of cancers. Recently it has been discovered that heart disease and atherosclerosis (plaquing of the arteries due to cholesterol) can cause the rise in CRP. Even excessive exercise, pregnancy, overweight, not-so threatening infections and presence of intrauterine device (IUD) can cause the elevation in CRP.
When is C-Reactive Protein Test Ordered
Doctor can order to undertake a C-reactive protein test when an acute or chronic inflammation poses a threat to the patient or the inflammation is suspected based on the other symptoms. Physicians can prescribe the test to evaluate the condition and the progress of treatment in cases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases. Even patients with organ transplants, surgical incisions and burns are asked to take the CRP test to detect inflammations which might be an indicator for other infections.
What Conditions can be Assessed with C-Reactive Protein Test
CRP is a test that can detect the inflammation in the body but cannot give the result on a specific disease, condition or ailments. However, here is a list of conditions that causes inflammation and is helpful in assessing, inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis), inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, even cardiovascular and coronary heart disease patients.
How is C-Reactive Protein Test Done
Blood sample is taken from the vein and then the sample is analysed at the laboratory. At times the result can vary from lab to lab and in most cases the measuring of the CRP is done in the traditional way to deduct the rise or presence of the inflammation in the body. But to assess the risk associated with the cardiovascular conditions more sensitive measurement method is used, which is also known as the hsCRP (high sensitive C-reactive protein). Also another point is to be noted that various conditions, which might not be dangerous can even cause inflammation in the body, so often two CRP tests are done within two weeks span to check the level and compare the results to for deduction of the inflammation.