C-reactive protein: the pawn has been promoted to queen

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2003 Mar;5(2):101-5. doi: 10.1007/s11883-003-0080-4.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is one of the acute phase reactants that can increase its serum level up to 100- fold during systemic inflammation. Its clinical use was limited in the past because of its lack of specificity in differentiating infection from other inflammatory processes. With the advent of a high sensitivity assay, CRP was found to be a superb predictor in identifying apparently healthy men and women at risk for developing future cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. CRP's predictive power is most likely due to its stability, reproducibility, and proatherogenic properties. Developing consensus to incorporate CRP determination into clinical practice guidelines will be the subject of intense debate and at the same time provide clinical research opportunities in the years to come.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / biosynthesis
  • C-Reactive Protein / drug effects
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biomarkers
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Aspirin