Inflammatory Markers

Inflammation is the body’s innate response to injury or insult, including infection, trauma, surgery, burns, and cancer. Certain proteins are released into the bloodstream during inflammation; if their concentrations increase or decrease by at least 25%, they can be used as systemic inflammatory markers. Although there are many inflammatory markers, also known as acute phase reactants, those most commonly measured in clinical practice (and discussed in this topic) are C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and procalcitonin (PCT). PCT is a newer marker of inflammation that may, in certain cases, identify or exclude bacterial infections and guide antibacterial treatments.   Because these markers are nonspecific, the tests alone are not diagnostic for a particular condition, but they may help to identify a generalized inflammatory state along with other tests and aid in the differential diagnosis. In some diseases, serial measurements of CRP also may be of prognostic value. 

Tabs Content
Content Review: 
April 2019

Last Update: April 2019