C-Reactive Protein Definition

C-reactive protein is a molecule produced in the liver that is normally undetectable in the blood. Blood tests that find elevated levels of CRP are a general indicator that inflammation is present in the body.

After inflammation is detected, a patient may undergo further testing to determine the specific condition, which may be rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis. Unfortunately, CRP is not an entirely reliable test, as patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may not exhibit elevated levels even though inflammation is present.