C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is type of protein produced by the liver and is present in blood plasma. It is produced in response to inflammatory stimulus, or when there is inflammation causing any body part to become swollen, reddened, and painful. 

CRP is widely used as a biological marker for inflammation in various researches. It is also one of the most common parameters in clinical settings for diagnosis and prognosis of inflammation. An elevation in the level of CRP could be attributed to wide range of conditions including a number of infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, bone infection, autoimmune arthritis, pregnancy and cancer. Increased levels of CRP could also directly be linked to increased chances of heart attack. CRP test is not diagnostic, but provides valuable insights as to whether inflammation is present or not. This result along with other signs and symptoms and tests is used to determine acute inflammatory conditions or chronic inflammatory disease.

There are two variants of the test to determine the levels of CRP in blood. While standard CRP test measures marked increase in its levels to detect diseases causing inflammation, hs-CRP test is used to accurately determine lower levels of the protein than the standard CRP to evaluate for the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Also, it provides additional information about an individual’s cardiovascular risk in conjunction with other known risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking.