What is CRP?
CRP, or C-reactive protein, is a blood test used to measure inflammation. It is released into the blood by the liver. This blood test is helpful in diagnosing certain infections and chronic illnesses. It can also monitor a patient’s response to medication. If protein levels drop after a medication change, the treatment works. Depending on the individual, there are different normal ranges for CRP.
CRP is a measure of inflammation
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein that triggers the innate immune response. It is produced when cells undergo damage, and its ligands interact with these damaged cells, triggering an inflammatory response. CRP is a member of the pentraxin family, and it has many homologs in vertebrates.
CRP is also a protective agent against bacterial infections. It works by activating the complement system, a family of enzymes involved in the opsonization of pathogens. Therefore, it is not surprising that CRP is often elevated in cases of bacterial infections.
The CRP test can also monitor treatment, allowing you to determine whether your treatment is working. Its levels rise and fall depending on the inflammation in your body. A decrease in CRP will mean that your treatment is working. A test for CRP can be performed by drawing blood from a vein in your arm and placing it into a vial or test tube. You may experience minor pain during the procedure, but it usually takes less than five minutes.
The liver releases it into the blood.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced by the liver in response to inflammation and infection. It is released into the bloodstream within a few hours of tissue injury or infection and serves as the body’s primary defense against infection. It binds to damaged tissue and activates the immune system to fight disease-causing agents.
People with elevated C-reactive protein levels are at increased risk for heart disease, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases. The protein is a marker of chronic inflammation in the body, which damages the walls of blood vessels and promotes fatty plaque buildup. People with elevated levels of CRP are twice as likely to experience a heart attack as those with normal levels of CRP.
It is a yardstick for general health.
The CRP blood test is a common way to check your general health. It is susceptible and can detect deficient chemical levels in healthy blood. Studies have shown that elevated CRP levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Because CRP levels are so sensitive, they help determine if a person is at risk of developing a specific medical condition.
It is not specific to RA.
When CRP is elevated, it signals the presence of inflammation. However, increased levels of CRP are not specific to rheumatoid arthritis. They can be found in patients with other inflammatory diseases as well. This makes the CRP test helpful in monitoring the disease progression.
The body produces the C-reactive protein (CRP) in response to inflammation. Inflammation is the leading cause of the symptoms of RA. Therefore, testing for CRP can help determine if a diagnosis of RA is likely. However, CRP levels can be elevated before a physician diagnoses the disease. The immune system produces CRP in response to interleukin-6, a protein agent produced by inflammatory cells. This agent is a part of a group called cytokines and is usually produced following an acute injury. It can also be elevated when the body treats normal tissue as an invader, as in the case of RA.
Although it may be difficult to tell if a patient has RA by using one CRP level alone, some studies show that elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of developing RA. Although this association was significant, it is not specific to RA.
It is considered a risk factor for heart disease.
The researchers found that Crp levels were positively correlated with established cardiovascular risk factors but were significantly lower in people with other protective factors. Furthermore, the association between CRP levels and risk diminished as the number of other cardiovascular risk factors increased. This finding indicates that Crp may be considered a risk factor for heart disease.
The researchers believe that CRP is a promising biomarker of inflammation. This inflammation is a direct contributor to atherogenesis. Hence, an elevated level of CRP is associated with an increased risk for MI, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and sudden cardiac death. In addition, CRP is easily detectable using high-sensitivity assays, making it an excellent tool for screening for CHD.