Synonyms: Cardiac C-Reactive Protein (CRP); Cardiac CRP; Cardio C- Reactive Protein (CRP); Cardio CRP; C-Reactive Protein (CRP), High Sensitivity; C-Reactive Protein (CRP), HS; CRP, Cardiac; CRP, Cardio; CRP, High Sensitivity; CRP, HS; High Sensitivity CRP; hs-CRP

Why It Is Done

Evaluate your risk for having a sudden heart problem, such as unstable angina or a heart attack.

There are two different tests for CRP. This ""High Sensitivity"" test is different from the regular CRP test, which detects elevated levels of CRP in people with infections and inflammatory

This High Sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) can more accurately detect lower concentrations of the protein (it is more sensitive), which makes it more useful than the CRP test in predicting a healthy person's risk for cardiovascular disease.

High normal levels of hs-CRP in otherwise healthy individuals have been found to be predictive of the future risk of heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, and peripheral arterial disease, even when lipid levels are within acceptable ranges

The current thinking is that hs-CRP can play a role in the evaluation process before one encounters one of these health problems. More clinical trials that involve measuring hs-CRP levels are currently underway in an effort to better understand its role in cardiovascular events and may eventually lead to more specific guidelines on its use in screening and treatment decisions.

Monitor cancer treatment or treatment of an infection. CRP levels elevate quickly and then become normal quickly if you are responding to treatment measures.

Who Should Be Tested

Those who want to evaluate their risk of cardiovascular disease. hs-CRP usually is ordered as one of several tests in a cardiovascular risk profile, often along with tests for cholesterol and triglycerides. Some experts say that the best way to predict risk is to combine this marker for inflammation along with the lipid profile.

People with higher hs-CRP values have the highest risk of cardiovascular disease, and those with lower values have less of a risk. Specifically, individuals who have hs-CRP results in the high end of the normal range have 1.5 to 4 times the risk of having a heart attack as those with hs-CRP values at the low end of the normal range.

The American Heart Association and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined risk groups as follows:

Low risk: less than 1.0 mg/L
Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
High risk: above 3.0 mg/L
These values are only a part of the total evaluation process for cardiovascular diseases.

Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ((NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) or statins may reduce CRP levels in blood. Both anti-inflammatory drugs and statins may help to reduce the inflammation, thus reducing CRP.

Because the hs-CRP test can serve as a marker for inflammation, it is important that any person having this test be in a healthy state in order for the results to be of value in predicting the risk of coronary disease or heart attack. Any recent illness, tissue injury, infection, or other general inflammation will raise the amount of CRP and give a falsely elevated estimate of risk.

Women on hormone replacement therapy have been shown to have elevated hs-CRP levels, suggesting that this test may be useful in predicting future cardiovascular events.

People with chronic inflammation, such as those with arthritis, should not have hs-CRP levels measured. Their CRP levels will be very high due to the arthritis-often too high to be measured or meaningful using the hs-CRP test.

Test Overview

This blood test measures the amount of C-reactive protein (CRP) produced by your liver when you have inflammation somewhere in your body. Higher-than-normal levels of CRP may indicate inflammation or a bacterial infection.

How To Prepare

No special preparation is needed "