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  • Quantitative CRP Testing: What to Expect During the Test and How to Prepare?

    Published on April 23, 2024

    Healthcare providers usually request a C-reactive protein (CRP) test to assist in diagnosing or excluding certain conditions, such as specific infections and autoimmune disorders.

    C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein generated by your liver. Under normal circumstances, CRP levels in the blood are low. However, if there is inflammation present in your body, then the liver releases more CRP into the bloodstream. A CRP test is conducted to measure the amount of CRP in a blood sample. Read on to learn more about the CRP test price, its significance and what to expect during the test.

    What is a CRP Test?

    A CRP test, conducted through a blood sample, can indicate the presence and severity of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is the natural response of your body to protect tissues and aid in their healing process following injury, infection, or illness. Acute inflammation, which occurs suddenly and temporarily, is typically beneficial. For instance, if you sustain a cut, then the affected area may exhibit swelling, redness, and pain for a brief period. These are typical signs of acute inflammation. However, inflammation can also occur internally within the body.

    Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, can cause damage to healthy tissues. Various factors, such as certain autoimmune disorders, chronic infections, and persistent injuries or irritations, can contribute to harmful chronic inflammation. Elevated CRP levels may signify the presence of a serious health condition associated with inflammation. The CRP test price may vary depending on your choice of diagnostic lab. At Apollo 24|7, the CRP test price is just Rs 500.

    Why is a CRP Test Done?

    Your healthcare provider may request a CRP test for the following reasons:

    • To screen for infection.
    • To assist in diagnosing chronic inflammatory conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
    • To assess your risk of developing heart diseases.
    • To evaluate the risk of a subsequent heart attack.

    What to Expect During a CRP Test?

    To collect a blood sample, a healthcare provider inserts a needle into a vein in your arm, typically at the elbow bend. You might experience a slight stinging sensation as the needle is removed or inserted. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. This procedure typically lasts less than five minutes, and you can resume your normal activities immediately afterwards. There’s minimal risk associated with getting a blood test done. You might experience mild discomfort or bruising at the needle insertion site, but these symptoms usually resolve quickly.

    How to Prepare for a CRP Test?

    Vigorous exercise, such as long-distance running or intense weight training, can lead to a sudden increase in C-reactive protein levels. Your healthcare provider may advise you to refrain from such activities before the test. Certain medications can also affect CRP levels. Inform your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter ones like aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Do not discontinue any prescription medications without talking to your doctor.

    In case your blood sample will also be used for other tests, you may be required to fast for a period before the test. For instance, if you’re undergoing an hs-CRP test to assess a heart disease, then you may need to fast for a cholesterol test conducted simultaneously. Your healthcare provider will provide specific instructions on how to prepare for your test.

    What Do CRP Test Results Mean?

    CRP test results indicate the level of inflammation in your body. However, they do not reveal the underlying cause of the inflammation. To establish a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will interpret your CRP results alongside other test findings, your medical history, and symptoms. Typically, individuals in good health have minimal CRP levels in their blood. Any elevation above the normal level indicates that there is inflammation. C-reactive protein levels are measured in milligrams per litre (mg/L). Results equal to or exceeding 8 mg/L or 10 mg/L are considered high. The specific reference ranges can differ depending on the laboratory performing the test.

    Receiving an abnormal test result can be concerning. It’s important to understand that having a raised CRP level doesn’t automatically indicate a medical condition requiring treatment. Your doctor will advise you if further tests are necessary to determine the underlying cause of the abnormal level.


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