There is evidence that persistent low level elevations of CRP are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. CRP may therefore be considered a cardiovascular risk marker.
The high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) assay is calibrated to measure low concentrations of CRP and should be requested in patients without overt active inflammation (i.e. it should not be requested during acute illness).
For information on using CRP as an acute inflammatory marker, please refer to this page
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Although not included in standard cardiovascular risk calculators, patients with an elevated hsCRP are thought to be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The hsCRP result reflects ongoing inflammation in the vascular lumen).
hsCRP is best used when refining the risk profile of those who have an intermediate risk and who fall close to a threshold for pharmacological intervention.
hsCRP is very sensitive to even minor degrees of background inflammation and should be interpreted with caution close to the time of any intercurrent illness.
hsCRP should not be interpreted in isolation but instead should be incorporated into the overall cardiovascular risk assessment. In the absence of overt inflammation there is a gradient of cardiovascular risk across the normal range and at higher levels.
Immunoturbidimetric method on Beckman Coulter AU5822 analyser using Beckman Coulter reagents.
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