Preferred Sample Type

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
200 uL blood (1 x paed Lith Hep tube)

Sample Processing in Laboratory


Sample Preparation


Turnaround Time

1 day

Sample Stability

Stable for 11 days at room temperature or 60 days at 4 ºC.

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

General Information

C-reactive protein (CRP) is the classic acute phase protein in inflammatory reactions. It is one of the first acute phase response proteins to become elevated in inflammatory disease and also exhibits the most dramatic increase in concentration. CRP is so called due to its ability to bind to the C-polysaccharide on the cell wall of Streptococcus pneumoniae, and is a glycoprotein with five identical polypeptide subunits synthesised in the liver. Once complexed, CRP becomes an activator of the complement pathway.

The concentration of CRP in serum rises dramatically after myocardial infarction, stress, trauma, infection, inflammation, surgery or neoplasic proliferation. The increase begins within 6 to 12 hours of the onset of the disorder and the concentration may reach up to 2000 times normal.

Determination of CRP is clinically useful for:

  • Screening of organic disease
  • Assessment of the activity of inflammatory disease
  • Detection of intercurrent infections in systemic lupus erythematosus, in leukemia or after surgery
  • Management of neonatal septicemia and meningitis when specimen collection for bacteriological investigations may be difficult.

Circulating concentrations of CRP may constitute an independent, albeit weak, risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Patient Preparation



No significant interference from haemolysis, icterus or lipaemia.

Reference Range

0-5 mg/L

(Source : Abbott Diagnostics)

Concentration of up to 5 mg/L exclude many acute inflammatory diseases, but do not specifically exclude inflammatory processes.

Values in excess of 100mg/L show acute bacterial infection or active inflammation.


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status:


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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235