Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

C-reactive protein

Definition

C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. It is one of a group of proteins called "acute phase reactants" that go up in response to inflammation.

This article discusses the blood test done to measure the amount of CRP in your blood.

Alternative Names

CRP; High-sensitivity C-reactive protein; hs-CRP

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed. This is most often taken from a vein. The procedure is called a venipuncture.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special steps are needed to prepare for this test.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

Why the Test is Performed

The CRP test is a general test to check for inflammation in the body. It is not a specific test. That means it can reveal that you have inflammation somewhere in your body, but it cannot pinpoint the exact location. The CRP test is often done with the ESR or sed rate test which also looks for inflammation.

You may have this test to:

  • Check for flare-ups of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis.
  • Determine if anti-inflammatory medicine is working to treat a disease or condition.

However, a low CRP level does not always mean that there is no inflammation present. Levels of CRP may not be increased in people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The reason for this is unknown.

A more sensitive CRP test, called a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) assay, is available to determine a person's risk for heart disease.

Normal Results

Normal CRP values vary from lab to lab. Generally, there is no CRP detectable in the blood.

According to the American Heart Association, results of the hs-CRP in determining the risk for heart disease can be interpreted as follows:

  • You are at low risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is lower than 1.0 mg/L.
  • You are at average risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your levels are between 1.0 mg/L and 3.0 mg/L.
  • You are at high risk for cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is higher than 3.0 mg/L.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A positive test means you have inflammation in the body. This may be due to a variety of conditions, including:

This list is not all inclusive.

Note: Positive CRP results also occur during the last half of pregnancy or with the use of birth control pills (oral contraceptives).

Risks

Risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring JE. Risk markers and the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 39.

Review Date:1/20/2015
Reviewed By:Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Images

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No