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CRP vs ESR Assessing & Measuring the Inflammatory Response

Introduction & Recommendations CRP vs ESR PDF
What is the best test to use in different situations?
CRP as an indicator of Severity
Result interpretation
How do CRP and ESR differ?
The acute phase response
What are ESR and CRP?
Tests should supplement clinical skills
References
See also CRP vs ESR: Reminder May 2007

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Introduction & Recommendations

ESR and CRP are some of the most commonly requested tests by New Zealand general practitioners. ESR is being performed about twice as often as CRP, but it is now recognised that in most situations CRP provides more valuable information to the clinician.

What do we recommend?

  1. Choose CRP first on most occasions
  2. Seldom request ESR and CRP simultaneously

Why do we make these recommendations?

  • CRP shows a rapid response to infection and inflammation: increasing within hours of stimulus, and returning rapidly to normal following resolution.
  • There are distinct ranges of normal and abnormal in CRP reference ranges, without variations for age or gender.
  • CRP is not affected by conditions such as pregnancy, anaemia and plasma protein variations.
  • There is seldom any value in requesting ESR and CRP simultaneously.

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