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C-reactive protein - Definition


C-reactive protein, or CRP, is a protein that appears in the blood when part of the body is inflamed. Blood CRP levels increase rapidly within a few hours of the inflammation manifesting, and fluctuate depending on how the infection progresses. These levels are reliable biological markers from the very first stage of an inflammatory reaction. C-reactive protein measurement, calculated from blood sample, is regularly performed in order to confirm the existence of an infection. Often, depending on the level, the origin can also be estimated as bacterial or viral, and the infection's progression can be monitored as c-reactive protein rapidly disappears as soon as the inflammation does.