Objective: To look for a systemic inflammatory response in patients with disk-related lumbosciatic syndrome by using an ultrasensitive (US) plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) assay, and to determine whether plasma CRP-US levels correlated with clinical and/or laboratory features.
Patients and methods: Plasma CRP was assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (detection limit, 5 microg/L) in patients with sciatica shown by computed tomography to be due to a disk herniation. Levels in 35 patients aged 23 to 64 years were compared to those in age- and sex-matched controls.
Results: Mean CRP-US levels measured by ELISA were significantly higher in the patients than in the controls (1.68 vs 0.74 mg/L; P = 0.002). There was a trend toward higher CRP-US levels in the patients with more severe nerve root symptoms.
Conclusion: The significantly higher plasma CRP-US levels by ELISA in our patients with disk-related lumbosciatic syndrome is consistent with a systemic inflammatory response to the local nerve root impingement.