C reactive protein is a blood test that measures the level of inflammation in the body. These proteins are produced by liver and are secreted in blood. Inflammation is the response of the immune system to any infection or injury. C reactive proteins of blood are activated during inflammation. So, the presence of higher levels of C reactive protein in blood indicates inflammatory response of body to any infection or injury.
C reactive protein test predicts presence of infection or injury in body. However, elevated CRP level is also associated with conditions such as chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart attack, arteriosclerosis and osteomyelitis. However, use of contraceptives, hormonal therapy and first two trimesters of pregnancy can also lead to elevated CRP level.
Causes Of Increased CRP
Pneumonia or tuberculosis
Chronic Inflammatory disease
Inflammatory bowel disease
Facts About The Test
The normal range of C reactive protein in blood for a healthy person varies with age, sex and physical conditions but the average is below 10 mg/L.
CRP level above 10 mg/ L indicates presence of severe infection in body.
High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test predicts risk of cardiac diseases.
CRP test is non-specific and does not predict the region of inflammation in body, cause or disease responsible for higher CRP level. Hence, individuals with abnormal CRP levels are told to undergo other specific tests to diagnose the exact cause of inflammation.