C-reactive Protein (hsCRP) Test for Cardiovascular Disease :
The C-reactive protein (hsCRP) test is used to detect inflammation in the body. Blood levels of CRP higher than 3.0 mg/L are linked to a higher risk of heart disease; levels higher than 10 mg/L are usually caused by inflammation or infection. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a substance made by the liver that is released into the bloodstream by inflammation. CRP levels also seem to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, in which fatty deposits called plaque buildup inside the arteries. For this reason, a high sensitivity C-reactive protein test (hs-CRP) is increasingly ordered along with other tests as part of a cardiovascular risk profile (other components of the profile include cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose levels, lifestyle and family history).
C-reactive protein (CRP) is an annular (ring-shaped), pentameric protein found in the blood plasma, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein is an acute-phase protein). Its physiological role is to bind to phosphocholine expressed on the surface of dead or dying cells (and some types of bacteria) in order to activate the complement system via the C1Q complex.
CRP is synthesized by the liver in response to factors released by macrophages and fat cells (adipocytes). It is a member of the pentraxin family of proteins. It is not related to C-peptide (insulin) or protein C (blood coagulation). C-reactive protein was the first pattern recognition receptor (PRR) to be identified.
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