C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation. It activates the immune system by binding to a molecule present on the surface of dead cells and some bacteria and helps promote removal of disease causing organism and cell debris.
It is used in diagnostic tests as a marker of inflammation. It gives a sensitive and accurate reflection of acute phase of inflammatory response.
• to determine disease progress or the effectiveness of treatments
• to assess risk of developing cancer
• as a biomarker of heart disease with a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) assay
• to predict risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Normal concentration of CRP in the blood is less than 10 mg/L. Liver failure interferes with CRP production. Higher levels of the protein are found in late pregnancy, inflammation, viral and bacterial infection and in burns.