Author Affiliation: Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is the classic "acute-phase reactant," the
plasma levels of which can increase as much as 10,000-fold in response to
tissue injury and infection.1 C-reactive protein
was discovered in the plasma of patients with acute pneumococcal pneumonia
70 years ago and was so named for its capacity to bind pneumococcal C-polysaccharide.
Plasma CRP level has long been a widely measured marker of disease activity
in inflammatory conditions, but recently, there has been increased interest
in the possible relevance of low-grade inflammatory processes to cardiovascular
disease and vascular risk factors.2,3
Danesh J. Smoldering Arteries?Low-grade Inflammation and Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA. 1999;282(22):2169-2171. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2169