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C-reactive protein

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a plasma protein, an acute phase protein produced by the liver.

History and nomenclature

CRP was originally discovered by Tillett and Francis in 1930 as a substance in the serum of patients with acute inflammation that reacted with the C polypeptide of pneumococcus.

Function

CRP is a member of the class of acute phase reactants as its levels rise dramatically during inflammatory processes occurring in the body. Measuring and charting C-reactive protein values can prove useful in determining disease progress or the effectiveness of treatments.
It is thought to assist in complement binding to foreign and damaged cells and affect the humoral response to disease.

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Role in cardiovascular disease

Recent research suggests that patients with elevated basal levels of CRP are at an increased risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, although recent research suggests the correllation is moderate.

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