C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST DEFINITION
A C-reactive protein test (also known as a CRP test) is a test that measures the amount of C-reactive protein (a protein whose increased levels indicates inflammation) in your body. It's also helpful in determining your heart attack risk, but it's not the recommended test for diagnosing heart diseases.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST PURPOSE
The CRP test examines whether or not there's inflammation in your body. Your doctor may order you to take a C-reactive protein test in order to monitor infection after surgery, lupus, pelvic inflammatory disease, certain arthritis forms, inflammatory bowel disease, heart attack damage, coronary artery disease risk, and heart disease risk factor.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST RISKS
Image: C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST
As expected of a blood test, you have low risk for infection (because all penetrative tests include this risk), excessive bleeding, or lightheadedness. The risks aren't any different from this test and any other procedure involving blood drawing.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED
You don't need to take any preparations for this type of blood test. However, some drugs can affect your CRP level and skew the results of the test, so tell your doctor if you're taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and birth control pills regularly.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST PROCEDURE
Blood is drawn from a vein on your arm or some other part of your body if the arm is unavailable for blood-drawing. This sample is then taken straight to the lab for further examination. After the test, you can go back to your normal activities.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST COMPLICATIONS
Complications from having your blood drawn include infection (something you have to risk anytime a procedure requires skin penetration), hematoma (accumulation of blood under your skin, particularly the penetration site), bruising, hemorrhaging, fainting, and lightheadedness.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST SIDE EFFECTS
Soreness or tenderness around the penetration site is to be expected. Aside from that, barring complications like injection and excessive bleeding, there are no other side effects to this particular procedure. If pain continues persists days after the test, consult your doctor.
C-REACTIVE PROTEIN TEST RESULTS
The normal CRP level is 0 to 1.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). 1.1 mg/dL and above of CRP can serve as a sign of bodily inflammation. The presence of elevated CRP levels is not enough to diagnose a specific disease or condition. You need additional testing and diagnosis to determine the origin of your high CRP levels. Keep in mind that hormone treatments, steroids, pain medicines, and certain cholesterol-lowering medications can affect the results of your CRP test.