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What is CRP (C reactive protein)?

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A high or increasing of CRP in the blood means that you have an acute infection or inflammation. If the CRPsto blood levels decrease, this means that recovering and that inflammation is reduced.

People with elevated CRP levels are three times the risk of heart attack compared to those with low levels.

The C Reactive Protein (C-Reactive Protein or CRP) is one of the major acute phase proteins that compose our body when faced with an inflammatory condition. This is therefore an important component of our body’s immune system. For this reason, it characterized as acute phase protein term denoting those proteins whose concentration increases by at least 25% during inflammation.

So called because it was found in 1930 by Tillet and Francis that the patient’s blood with acute pneumonia precipitate formed in the presence of polysaccharide C of the film of the pneumococcus and calcium ions.

CRP is synthesized in the liver during the acute development events such as infections, cancers, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and its levels reflect the degree of tissue injury or the size of the inflammatory condition. CRP is normally released within 6 hours of the stimulus, which if it stops it affects the values ​​of the return to normal levels within about 4 days.

The CRP assay used in the diagnosis of infectious and inflammatory conditions. Rapid functional CRP increases occurring after inflammation, infection, trauma, tissue necrosis, malignancies and autoimmune disorders.

Due to its sensitivity, the CRP has been established as an inflammatory condition a pointer to the body tissues.

Given the large number of conditions that can increase CRP levels increased CRP does not indicate a specific disease. B.C. increases in rheumatoid arthritis, in polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis.

The list of categories of diseases that cause elevated CRP is long.

For example:

Abscesses teeth and oral inflammation
systemic infections
focal inflammation
rheumatic diseases
Inflammatory bowel disease
Autoimmune Diseases
blood diseases
granulomatous diseases
Some people have naturally elevated CRP levels.

Although the CRP test is not specific enough to diagnose a particular disease, it serves as a general indicator of infection and inflammation, so that puts physicians vigilant for further testing and treatment that may be necessary.

CRP levels can be increased in the latter stages of pregnancy and the use of pregnancy control pills or hormone replacement therapy (eg. Estrogen). Higher CRP levels have also been observed in obese.

Higher CRP values ​​are associated with increased body mass index, the insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. The CRP value is predictive, as an independent factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and reduced by improving insulin resistance, weight loss and exercise. Statins reduce the CRP value, regardless of their effect on lipid profile, which probably explains their kadioprostateftiki action in people with normal LDL-C but elevated CRP values.

Another consideration for monitoring inflammation called erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). In both tests, the CRP is elevated in the presence of inflammation. However, the change in CRP levels can be made shorter than the change in ESR. Thus, CRP may fall to normal levels if it is treated successfully, as in one arthritis, but the ESR may remain abnormal longer.

Great importance played by CRP and cardiovascular diseases, highlighting its role in atherosclerosis and athirothromvogenesis processes, resulting in the increase of catastrophic cardiovascular events development possibilities.

Nearly 50% of heart attacks and strokes occur in people who are apparently healthy and have normal or even low cholesterol levels.

People with elevated CRP levels are three times the risk of heart attack compared to those with low levels.

CRP levels have been shown in many studies that have predictive value for future risk of heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death and arterial problems. Levels also have prognostic value in patients with recurrent episodes of coronary artery disease and those with acute myocardial infarction.

Recently, the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States and the American Heart Association (AHA) issued guidelines for the measurement of high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) as part of the comprehensive risk prevention of future cardiovascular problems.

The criteria were placed for measurement of hs-CRP are:

Levels lower than 1 mg / dl, the risk of future cardiovascular event is low.
Levels of 1-3 mg / dl the risk is moderate.
Levels greater than 3 mg / dl the risk is high.
Therefore, experts believe that the measurement of the «high sensitivity» CRP (hs-CRP) can now be used as an early diagnostic indicator for risk of coronary heart disease, in addition to the control and other risk factors (glucose, cholesterol, homocysteine , smoking, high blood pressure, etc.)

But the most important use of CRP is the detection of high risk in people who have other risk factors for cardiovascular problem.

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