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C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test

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KEY POINTS

  • This blood test measures a substance made by the liver called C-reactive protein, or CRP.
  • The level of CRP in your child’s blood goes up when there is inflammation (swelling and irritation) in the body.
  • Make sure your child follows his healthcare provider’s instructions about eating, drinking, and exercising before the test.

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What is the C-reactive protein (CRP) test?

This blood test measures a substance made by the liver called C-reactive protein, or CRP. The level of CRP in your child’s blood goes up when there is infection or inflammation (swelling and irritation) in the body. There are 2 different CRP tests.

  • Standard CRP (This is the test most often done in children.)
  • High-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP, also called ultra-sensitive CRP or us-CRP)

Why is this test done?

The CRP test may help diagnose and treat a medical problem your child is having. It does not diagnose a specific problem, but it can help your child’s healthcare provider know what other tests your child might need. It’s also a way to see how well treatments for certain diseases are working.

How do I prepare my child for this test?

  • Your child may need to avoid taking certain medicines before the test because they might affect the test result. Make sure your child’s healthcare provider knows about any medicines, herbs, or supplements that your child is taking. Ask your child’s provider before stopping any of your child’s regular medicines.
  • Talk to your child’s healthcare provider if you have any questions about the test.

How is the test done?

Having this test will take just a few minutes. For young babies, the heel is pricked and a small amount of the blood is taken. For older children, a small amount of blood is taken from a vein in your child’s arm with a needle. The blood is collected in tubes and sent to a lab.

Ask your child’s healthcare provider when and how you will get the result of your child’s test.

What do the test results mean?

Your child’s CRP level may be higher than normal if your child has a disease that is causing inflammation, such as:

  • An infection
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Some types of arthritis
  • An autoimmune disease (a disease that causes your child’s body to attack your child’s own tissues), such as lupus.

What if my child’s test result is not normal?

Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history, physical exam, and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about the results and ask questions, such as:

  • Whether your child needs more tests
  • What kind of treatment your child might need
  • What lifestyle, diet, or other changes your child might need to make
Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2016.4 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2015-07-22
Last reviewed: 2015-07-22
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright © 2016 RelayHealth, a division of McKesson Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.
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