Inflammatory Markers Innovations:

 Measurement of inflammatory marker levels can be used in conjunction with a patient’s overall clinical picture to: Aid in the diagnosis of certain suspected inflammatory disorders (eg, ESR is useful for giant cell arteritis and CRP for neonatal sepsis). Distinguish between inflammatory and noninflammatory diseases (eg, osteoarthritis versus rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease versus irritable bowel syndrome). Manage certain antibiotic therapies (eg, PCT measurements can be used to support shortening the duration of antimicrobial therapy in patients with lower respiratory tract infections). Predict recovery (eg, PCT levels can be used to predict 28-day cumulative mortality risk for patients diagnosed with sepsis) CRP concentrations are a reliable early indicator of active systemic inflammation because they can help differentiate inflammatory from noninflammatory conditions and reflect the severity of the inflammatory insult.  CRP is recommended over ESR to detect acute phase inflammation in patients with undiagnosed conditions because it is more sensitive and specific than ESR. CRP has a narrow range of normal values, usually <3-10 mg/L in the blood, but in patients with infections or inflammatory conditions, levels can raise several hundred-fold.  CRP is also a useful measure because concentrations change rapidly within the first 6-8 hours after injury, peak after 48 hours, and return to normal levels once the issue has resolved.

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