C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-24 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

C-reactive protein is an acute-phase reactive protein that is used as a marker of inflammatory illness. It is an abnormal protein produced mainly by the liver when an acute inflammatory process occurs. The synthesis of CRP is triggered by antigen-immune complexes, bacteria, fungi, and trauma. It is primarily synthesized by hepatocytes under stimulation from TNF, IL-1, and IL-6.[1],[2]


  • Chronically elevated low-grade CRP has been associated with vessel damage and vascular disease.[3]
  • It may also be used postoperatively to detect wound infections.

Patient Preparation

  • Fasting is usually not required, however, some laboratories require a 4- to 12-hour fast.
  • Factors which may cause increased levels
  • intrauterine device
  • Drugs: oral contraceptives
  • Factors which may cause decreased levels
  • Drugs: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, salicylates, and steroids

Clinical Implications

High levels indicate:

Low levels inicate:

  • the level of CRP in the blood in normally low.

Associated Tests


  1. Pagana Kathleen D, Pagana Timothy J (2006) Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, Mosby, Inc
  2. Weatherby Dicken, Ferguson Scott (2002) Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis: Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective, Bear Mountain.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tardik George (FEb/Mar 2009) New, Emerging and Controversial Risk Factors for Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease IHP:36,39-40