A c-reactive protein (CRP) test determines the amount of c-reactive protein (CRP) in a blood sample. CRP is a protein produced by your liver. Usually, your blood contains modest quantities of c-reactive protein. If your body is inflamed, your liver releases more CRP into circulation. High CRP levels may indicate a significant health issue that causes inflammation.
Inflammation is your body’s way of defending and healing tissues after an accident, illness, or another disease. Inflammation can be both acute (rapid) and temporary. In most cases, this form of inflammation is beneficial. If you cut your skin, for example, it may turn red, swell, and pain for a few days. These are indications of inflammation. Internal inflammation can also occur.
Inflammation that lasts too long might harm healthy tissues. It is referred to as chronic (long-term) inflammation. Chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions can all induce long-term inflammation. Chronic inflammation can also occur if your tissues are regularly harmed or inflamed by smoking or environmental toxins.
A CRP positive means whether and how much inflammation exists in your body. The test, however, cannot determine what is causing the inflammation or which region of your body is affected.
CRP is a protein found in the blood and is usually measured to determine whether a person is at high risk for certain diseases and conditions. It is also associated with cancers and other requirements. However, it can be challenging to interpret what exactly it means. The best way to understand it is to look at the link between it and different illnesses and diseases.
Associated with bacterial infections
Bacterial infections are common and can be harmful to human health. These infections are characterized by inflammation, fever, and chills. In addition, they are associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
The three significant syndromes associated with bacterial infection are bacteremia, invasive disease, and bloodstream infection. In total, five bacterial pathogens caused more than half of all deaths.
Bacterial infections were associated with a higher rate of death in Sub-Saharan Africa. Patients with bacterial infections were also more likely to develop ARDS. Compared with patients without bacterial infection, those with ARDS were more likely to be older, to have a neurological disease, and to be immunosuppressed.
Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are associated with severe invasive disease. It is also a leading cause of bacterialemia, infectious endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and various skin infections. Vaccines against Staphylococcus aureus have been recommended as a primary source of protection against this infection.
Associated with hepatitis C, dengue, and malaria
Malaria has a long and storied history dating back to the early 19th century. This parasitic disease can be fatal and is most commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not limited to the continent. It is common to see cases in parts of the United States. Fortunately, prevention techniques are in place to help avoid the dreaded malarial fever. In the US, most issues are amongst the immigrant or traveler set. Aside from the usual suspects, a few small outbreaks have occurred, the latest of which is a reminder that it is never too late to protect yourself.
As with any scourge, there are many ways to treat the disease. The best way is to prevent it in the first place. In addition to regular boogies, the best preventive measure is vaccination. Vaccines are the cheapest, most reliable, and most effective ways to keep the boogie at bay.
One of the best protection measures is staying in an air-conditioned building. It may be an excellent time to ensure you have the proper medications in your medicine cabinet.
It can be not easy to interpret
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a biomarker of inflammation. High levels are commonly associated with bacterial infections. But there are other causes for elevated levels. If you have elevated CRP, your healthcare provider will likely refer you for further testing to help determine the cause.
When interpreting your test results, be aware that the rate of change between the first and second measurements can be more informative about the inflammatory process than the one alone. In addition, it’s essential to know that CRP is in two different isoforms.
It’s also important to understand that the sensitivity and specificity of results reported in studies vary a lot. That’s why clinical correlation is so significant. Ideally, it would be best to get your results correlated with another test, such as blood culture, to determine the cause.
The use of CRP as a prognostic indicator has been studied extensively. Studies have shown that very high levels of CRP are associated with bacterial infections 90% of the time. A conservative cut-off point of 20 mg/L ensures that patients with serious bacterial infections are treated appropriately. However, a more comprehensive study is needed further to explore the impact of CRP testing on antibiotic prescribing.
In addition to being a reliable marker of infection, CRP can be used to assess the severity of inflammation. Chronic conditions may cause persistently elevated levels of hs-CRP.