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).