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CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation in the body. He althy people generally have low CRP levels. On the other hand, high CRP levels can be a sign of disease or infection in the body
CRP or C-reactive protein levels in the blood can be checked by CRP examination. This test has been widely used to diagnose diseases related to inflammation.
Inflammation is the body's immune response to certain diseases or injuries. There are various conditions or diseases that can cause inflammation, including infections, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, to cancer.
How to Perform CRP Check
CRP testing requires a blood sample to be taken from a vein. Before injecting the needle to draw blood, the medical staff will clean the skin around the elbow of the inner arm with antiseptic.
Furthermore, a small needle will be inserted into the vein for the process of drawing blood. The blood that has been taken will be put into a special blood storage container.
After the blood sample has been taken, the medical staff will clean the needle puncture site with a cotton swab that has been given alcohol, then cover it with a plaster.
The blood sample is then observed in the laboratory to go through the process of analyzing CRP levels.
CRP Check Results
C-reactive protein is measured in milligrams per liter of blood (mg/L). The following is the interpretation of each CRP value:
CRP less than 0.3 mg/L
The CRP value is a normal CRP value. CRP levels less than 0.3 mg/L are common in he althy people.
CRP 0, 3–1, 0 mg/L
In general, the CRP value is still relatively normal. If you have a CRP value of 0.3–1.0 mg/L and do not have any symptoms, the test results may indicate that you are in good he alth.
However, a mild increase in CRP can sometimes indicate an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
In addition, CRP values in this range can also occur in people who are suffering from the flu, gingivitis, or periodontitis. Slightly elevated CRP levels can be experienced by people with diabetes, depression, or obesity.
CRP 1.0–10 mg/L
This CRP value can also be an indication of a risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke.
In addition, inflammation due to pancreatitis, bronchitis, cancer, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, is also generally characterized by an elevated CRP value of more than 3 mg/L.
CRP above 10 mg/L
CRP values above 10 mg/L indicate inflammation or serious conditions in the body. CRP levels that increase to more than 10 mg/L can be caused by the following conditions:
- Severe infections, eg sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, peritonitis, and osteomyelitis
- Inflammation of the intestines
- Inflammation of the pelvis
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- rheumatic fever
In addition to the various conditions above, increased CRP levels can also occur in patients who have recently undergone surgery, heavy smokers, and women who use hormonal contraception.
High CRP levels do indicate that the body is experiencing inflammation. However, a CRP test cannot pinpoint the cause or location of inflammation in the body.
Therefore, to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause of the increased CRP levels in your body, the doctor will recommend other investigations, such as complete blood tests, urine tests, antibody tests, and radiological examinations, such as ultrasound, X-rays, CT scan, or MRI.
An examination to measure CRP levels can be done as part of a routine medical check-up or when you feel certain symptoms, such as fever, pain, swelling in the body, or decreased consciousness.
In addition, this examination can also be done by a doctor to evaluate the condition of a person who has previous co-morbidities, such as HIV, diabetes, and kidney disease.
A low CRP test result generally indicates that your body is in good he alth. However, if your CRP test results are high, consult your doctor to find out the possible causes for the increase in CRP levels.
It is also important to do this so that the doctor can perform other examinations and provide appropriate treatment according to your disease.