Markers of inflammation and cardiovascular disease: clinical applications of C-reactive protein determination

Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2009;9 Suppl 1:3-7. doi: 10.2165/1153161-S0-000000000-00000.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced by the macrophages in the liver and adipocytes and is integrated in the acute-phase response pathway. Being a nonspecific marker of inflammation, it increases in response to inflammation. The results of recent studies that have analyzed the role of CRP have not yet influenced current clinical practice. When used in combination with other established biomarkers for the prediction of the first major cardiovascular event or death, CRP does not improve the risk stratification obtained with the current guidelines. The reduction of CRP levels itself or as a statin-related pleiotropic effect has been assessed in different scenarios, including the acute phase of myocardial infarction; secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases; special patient populations, such as diabetic patients; and finally in a primary prevention study (JUPITER [Justification for the Use of statins in primary Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin]). Risk stratification in all the examined scenarios was related to serum LDL-C levels; in other words, the degree of cardiovascular risk was always lipid dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diagnosis*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • C-Reactive Protein