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What does high c-reactive protein level indicate?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Answered by: Dr PSN Menon
Consultant & Head, Department of Pediatrics Jaber Al-Ahmed Armed Forces Hospital, Kuwait
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Q. My 4 years old son’s c-reactive protein levels has been found to be 7.6 mg/L in a pathology test. He gets fever frequently. What should we do? Please advise.

A.  C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation. The CRP level rises dramatically during inflammatory processes. CRP binds to phosphocholine on microbes and cell surfaces. It is thought to assist in complement binding to foreign and damaged cells and their removal from the body. It is also believed to play another important role in innate immunity, as an early defense system against infections. It rises above normal limits within 6 hours, and peaks at 48 hours during infections. As a result CRP is used mainly as a marker of inflammation. Measuring and charting CRP values can prove useful in determining disease progress or the effectiveness of treatment in children; but is not diagnostic.

A.  C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation. The CRP level rises dramatically during inflammatory processes. CRP binds to phosphocholine on microbes and cell surfaces. It is thought to assist in complement binding to foreign and damaged cells and their removal from the body. It is also believed to play another important role in innate immunity, as an early defense system against infections. It rises above normal limits within 6 hours, and peaks at 48 hours during infections. As a result CRP is used mainly as a marker of inflammation. Measuring and charting CRP values can prove useful in determining disease progress or the effectiveness of treatment in children; but is not diagnostic.

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Posted by : saroj, on Thursday, March 11, 2010
CRP is an acute phase reactant. it means it is a protein whose level is increased in infections, mainly bacterial. 7.6 for a 4yr child is definitely elevated but not very high. By seeing the other investigation parameters and clinical examination of the child your doctor can decide whether the child is normal or having any infection or any other inflammatory process. i would advice you to leave it on your treating physician to decide.
 
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