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C-reactive protein, also known as CRP, is an application by the liver that is usually increased when there is some type of inflammatory or infectious process occurring in the body, being one of the first indicators to be altered in the blood test, in these situations .

This protein is widely used to assess the possibility of an infection or non-visible inflammatory process, such as appendicitis, atherosclerosis or suspicion of viruses and bacterial bacteria, for example. However, CRP can also be used to assess a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, since the higher it is, the greater the risk of this type of disease.

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This test does not indicate exactly what inflammation or infection the person has, but an increase in its values ​​indicates that the body is fighting an aggressive agent, which can also be reflected in the increase in leukocytes. Thus, the CRP value should always be analyzed by the doctor who ordered the exam, as he can order other exams and assess the person’s health history, in order to arrive at the most correct diagnosis.

Normal PCR value
The reference value for CRP, in both men and women, is up to 3.0 mg / L or 0.3 mg / dL. Regarding cardiovascular risk, the values ​​that indicate the chance of developing heart disease are:

High risk:

Above 3.0 mg / L

Medium risk:

Between 1.0 and 3.0 mg / L

Low risk:

Less than 1.0 mg / L

Thus, it is important that the CRP values ​​are between 1 and 3 mg / L. Low values ​​of C-reactive protein can also be observed in some situations, such as in people who have had great weight loss, practice of physical exercises, consumption of alcoholic beverages and use of some medications, being important that the doctor identifies the cause.

The interpretation of the result must be made by the doctor, because in order to reach the diagnostic conclusion, it is important that other tests are analyzed together, thus making it possible to better identify the cause of the increase or decrease in CRP.

What is the ultra sensitive PCR exam

The examination of ultra sensitive CRP is requested by the doctor when he wants to assess the person’s risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. In this case, the exam is requested when the person is healthy, without any apparent symptoms or infection. This test is more specific and can detect minimal amounts of CRP in the blood.

If the person is apparently healthy and has high ultra-sensitive CRP values, it means that they are at risk of developing peripheral arterial disease, or suffer a heart attack or stroke, so they must eat properly and exercise regularly.

What can be high PCR

High C-reactive protein appears in most inflammatory and infectious processes in the human body, and may be related to several situations such as the presence of bacteria, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism and, even, rejection of an organ transplant, for example.

In some cases, CRP values ​​may indicate the severity of the inflammation or infection:

Between 3.0 to 10.0 mg / L:

They usually indicate mild inflammation or mild infections such as gingivitis, flu or cold
Between 10.0 to 40.0 mg / L: may be a sign of more serious infections and moderate infections, such as chicken pox or respiratory infection

More than 40 mg / L:

Usually indicates bacterial infection

More than 200 mg / L:

It may indicate septicemia, a serious condition that puts the person’s life at risk.

The increase in this protein can also indicate chronic diseases and therefore the doctor should order other tests to try to find out what led to its increase in the bloodstream, since CRP is not able, alone, to determine the disease. Check out the main symptoms of an inflammation.

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What to do when your CRP is high

After confirming the high CRP values, the doctor should evaluate the result of the other tests requested, as well as evaluate the patient, taking into account the symptoms presented. Thus, from the moment the cause is identified, treatment can be started in a more targeted and specific way.

When the patient presents only a malaise without any other symptoms or specific risk factors, the doctor may order other tests, such as the measurement of tumor markers or computed tomography, for example, so that the chance of an increase in CRP is verified be related to cancer.

When CRP values ​​are above 200 mg / L and the diagnosis of infection is confirmed, it is usually indicated that the person is hospitalized to receive antibiotics through the vein. CRP values ​​begin to rise 6 hours after the onset of infection and tend to decrease when antibiotics are started. If 2 days after the use of antibiotics the CRP values ​​do not decrease, it is important that the doctor establishes another treatment strategy.

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