CRP (C-reactive protein)
CRP is a protein produced in response to inflammation and excessive deposits of cholesterol and fats in the liver and other tissues. The hs-CRP test accurately measures low levels of C-reactive protein to identify low but persistent levels of inflammation and thus helps predict a person's risk of developing CVD, heart attacks, and strokes. hs-CRP levels indicate an increased propensity for plaque disruption and/ or thrombosis. Levels of hs-CRP greater than 3 mg/l predict recurrent coronary events, thrombotic complications after angioplasty, poor outcome in the setting of unstable angina, and vascular complications after bypass surgery (CABG). It is also useful in determining whether or not more intensive treatment is warranted and in monitoring how well a patient is responding to lifestyle change and statin treatment. Measurement of hs-CRP should be done in patients free of infection or acute illness.