C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test: Uses, Procedure, Results

Doctors would usually recommend a CRP test if there is a possibility of infection.

c-reactive protein

Your body has the ability to produce a substance called C-reactive Protein. This substance develops due to inflammation.

C-reactive Protein also goes by the names; ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).

CRP Tests are being conducted to check for the levels of concentration of CRP. The test doesn’t detect the specific condition. But they serve as signals that high levels of CRP are usually signs of a health concern.

Uses of CRP

A CRP Test is to identify if there is any inflammation in the body. It’s also a general test since it doesn’t identify where inflammation is coming from. As mentioned above, high levels of CRP could be a sign of an infection or a disease.

You may also conduct the CRP Test if you have suspected any of the following:

Infection

Doctors would usually recommend a CRP test if there is a possibility of infection. Your doctor may suspect fungal infections or severe bacterial infections like tuberculosis, sepsis, or pneumonia. If your CRP levels appear to be high, then it gives your doctor the confirmation that you have an infection. Thus, you will then have to undergo other tests or screenings. this is because the CRP Test could not tell what’s causing the infections or where it’s coming from. That’s why in order for your doctor to diagnose the infection, other tests may take place. If you just had treatment then you may also do the CRP Test. This is to make sure that your body doesn’t have any inflammation anymore and that the treatment is successful.

Heart Disease Risk

According to research, high levels of CRP lead to possibilities of developing heart disease.

To check for possible risks of heart disease, you can conduct hs-CRP. This type of CRP is being used to measure very low amounts of CRP in the blood. Having said, it may detect possible risks of coronary artery disease.  Besides the test, our doctor may also recommend a cholesterol test. This is can also assess risks of possible heart disease.

Yet, high levels of CRP doesn’t always equate to possibilities of heart disease.

Chronic Inflammatory Disease

In cases of inflammatory diseases, a low amount of CRP doesn’t always mean that there is no inflammation in the body.

Chronic Inflammatory Diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease also need CRP Testing. This is in order for the doctor to know what treatment will you need. CRP tests in inflammatory diseases decrease the chances of disease flare-ups. Diagnosing an inflammatory disease doesn’t rely on one test result only.

A CRP test result for inflammatory diseases is only a piece of the puzzle in helping your doctor assess your condition.

It is also possible for your doctor to recommend blood testing aside from CRP tests. This is to further confirm any suspicions of inflammatory disease.

How is the test administered?

Unlike other tests, there are no needed preparations for a CRP test. You may eat or drink anything you want the day or a few hours before the test. A lab technician, a nurse, or a health practitioner will administer the test.

  • Before the test: Before doing the CPR test, you will most likely fill up a form.
  • During the test: The test will only last for a few minutes. Your nurse or whoever will conduct the test for you will ask you which arm you want to use for the CPR. They will usually draw blood from the vein at the back of your hand or on the inside of your elbow.
    • Before drawing blood, they will first have to clean the area with an antiseptic. They will then have to wrap an elastic band around your arm so the vein would bulge. Once the vein is visible, they will then insert a small needle in your vein to collect blood.
    • Once the blood is collected, they will then remove the needle as well as the elastic band. You will then have to put gauze on the area to apply pressure. You may also put tape or a bandage on top to keep the gauge in place.
  • After the test: Lightheadedness or dizziness is quite normal after the test. Once you feel better, you are then free to leave the lab.

Risks and Complications

Blood testing or CPR testing is quite normal and is already considered safe. But, there may still be minor complications from the collection of blood.

  1. excessive bleeding
  2. lightheadedness or dizziness
  3. bruising or swelling
  4. infection or pain at the puncture site

Identifying Results of CPR

CPR Results may take a day or two before it gets back to you. It will depend on the laboratory or wherever your blood was sent.

CPR Test Results: It is important to know that CPR levels may depend on age. It is also believed that levels would be higher for females than males.

A normal reading on regular CPR is under 10 mg/L. If your result would exceed the standard reading then that is already a sign that you have an infection or a disease.

CPR on Infection: One reason why your doctor would recommend CPR testing is because he/she suspects an infection. If the CPR result is positive, then your doctor might recommend other tests. This is to confirm what’s causing the infection and where it is coming from. Remember that a CPR test could only detect inflammation but couldn’t identify where it’s coming from. You may also take the CPR test after finishing treatment for infection. If your CPR result is negative then that means your body is adapting well to the treatment.

CPR on Chronic Inflammatory Disease: If you have a chronic inflammatory disease and your CPR result is high, that means you have a flare-up. This also gives your doctor a signal that your body does not correspond well with the treatment. But if your CPR levels appear lower than before, that means inflammation is subsiding. It may also mean that your body is corresponding well to the treatment.

Other Causes

There could also be other causes of inflammation. Your doctor may also do some extra tests if the causes of inflammation are still not obvious. Other factors which may affect your CPR levels are the following:

  1. Cancer
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Rheumatic Fever
  4. Heart Attack
  5. Connective Tissue Disease
  6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  7. Use of Oral Contraception
  8. Hormone Replacement Therapy

What to do if your CPR is high?

CPR levels are a doctor’s biomarkers. Means to say, it is their ways to track your health condition. CPR results cannot stand alone as a complete diagnosis of an infection or a disease.

Furthermore, low CPR levels do not guarantee your safety from any health conditions.

According to research, people who have high CPR levels must maintain a healthy diet. This is to lower their chances of catching cardiovascular diseases or heart attacks. It is also believed that vitamin C consumption is a good way to lower CPR levels. Despite all this, it is also best to keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle is a surefire way to keep you healthy.

c-reactive protein

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *