hs-CRP inflammation or infection
To predict in healthy individuals whether there is an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
As a test for the risk of cardiovascular disease, a more sensitive determination of CRP is used: hs-CRP (hs=high sensitive).
In addition to the usual CRP assay, an ultrasensitive CRP assay, hs-CRP high sensitive CRP or C-reactive protein (CRP), ultra-sensitive, has also come on the market, which can demonstrate very low-grade inflammatory reactions. Several recent studies have shown that the hs-CRP, particularly when determined in combination with total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, is a strong predictor of future coronary disease in apparently healthy individuals. This study was conducted because it is suspected that low-grade, chronic inflammation plays an important role in the process of arteriosclerosis.
A subdivision was made for low values of hs-CRP as a predictor of heart disease:
- If the result is less than < 1 mg/l: No increased risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
- Results between 1-3 mg/l: slightly increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- If the result is higher than > 3.0 mg/l: High risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- If the result is higher than > 10 mg/l: This indicates an acute infection, for example by bacteria.
The normal determination of CRP is performed to demonstrate or exclude the possible presence of inflammation or infection, or to monitor the outcome of treatment of inflammation.
Before CRP was applied, sedimentation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate or BSE) was used, for the detection of inflammation. However, at the onset of a disease process, it can take several days for an increase in BSE to occur. With that, the sedimentation rate changes much more slowly than the CRP, which is elevated in six to eight hours after the onset of inflammation. Similarly, BSE decreases much more slowly than CRP after the extinction of a disease process. Furthermore, sedimentation also depends on gender, age, pregnancy, drug use, hematocrit, and red blood cell morphology, among other factors. Because of all these factors, sedimentation has become of less diagnostic value in the acute phase of inflammation.