Preferred Sample Type

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Suitable Specimen Types


C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Specimen Volume

200 uL blood (1 x paed Lith Hep tube)

Sample Preparation


Turnaround Time

1 day

Sample Processing In Laboratory


Sample Stability

Stable for 15 days at room temperature or 2 months at 4 ºC.

General Information

The main uses of CRP are to:

  • Assess the intensity of in­flammation or amount of tissue involved
  • Monitor therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia, systemic vasculitis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Detect intercurrent infections in systemic lupus erythematosus, in leukemia or after surgery
  • Distinguish bacterial involvement in meningitis, neonatal illness or pneumonia.   
  • Predict outcomes, as persistently increased CRP indicates poor prognosis.

The identification of the importance of small, chronic elevations in [CRP] as a cardiovascular risk marker in apparently healthy individuals has led to the development of highly sensitive assays, commonly referred to as hs-CRP. CRP measurements can only be used to assess cardiovasular risk status if they are made in the absence of acute inflammation.

Patient Preparation



C-reactive protein (CRP), the most sensitive acute-phase protein synthesized in the liver, is normally present in serum in very low concentrations. It has a role in innate immunity and handling of diseased tissue, and is produced by the liver in response to interleukin-6, which is released from macrophages during the inflammatory response. Once complexed, CRP becomes an activator of the complement pathway.  CRP levels increase rapidly, within 6h, in response to infection or injury, peaking between 24h and 48h, and often precedes clinical symptoms. The CRP response may be less pronounced in patients with liver disease.

Reference Range

Adult male/female reference range = 0-5 mg/L (Abbott Alinity)

Levels above 100 mg/L are associated with major trauma, acute bacterial infection or active inflammation.

Concentrations of up to 10 mg/L exclude many acute inflammatory diseases, but do not specifically exclude inflammatory processes.



  • EQA Status: IMMQAS CRP & PCT scheme
  • EQAS Scheme: Yes

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