Serum C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Target for Therapy or Trouble?

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.
Biomarker insights 02/2007; 1:77-80.
Source: PubMed


High sensitivity serum C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) has come into clinical use as a marker of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition to a role as a marker of disease, CRP has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of CVD. Specific small-molecule inhibitors of CRP have recently been developed with the intent of mitigating cardiac damage during acute myocardial infarction. However, the use of CRP, both as a risk marker and a disease target are controversial for several reasons. Serum hs-CRP concentrations can be elevated on the basis of genetics, female gender, and non-Caucasian ethnicity. It is not clear, in these contexts, that elevations of hs-CRP have any pathological significance. As a non-specific indicator of inflammation, CRP is also not a specific indicator of a single disease state such as cardiovascular disease but elevated concentrations can be seen in association with other comorbidities including obesity and pulmonary disease. In sharp contrast to the proposed inhibition of CRP for cardiovascular disease treatment, the infusion of CRP has been shown to have profound therapeutic benefits for autoimmune disease and septic shock. The balance between the risks and benefits of these competing views of the role of CRP in disease and disease therapy is reminiscent of the ongoing controversy regarding the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for musculoskeletal disease and their cardiovascular side effects. Soon, NSAIDs may not be the only agents about which Rheumatologists and Cardiologists may spar.

Download full-text


Available from: Joanne M Jordan
  • Source
    • "As such, a large portion of scientific opinion supports CRP as a risk marker, in response to the inflammatory process within the atherosclerotic plaque and other previously established CRF [88]. Conversely, its role as a CRF is heavily debated [77, 93, 94]. Despite the large body of evidence associating CRP with atherosclerotic lesions, the lack of a direct correlation between its concentration and the extension of atherosclerosis as determined by imaging techniques constitutes one of the main arguments for those who oppose this much-disputed mechanism [88], along with its well-known associations with other risk factors included in the Framingham equations [95]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An important etiopathogenic component of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis, with inflammation being an essential event in the pathophysiology of all clinical pictures it comprises. In recent years, several molecules implicated in this process have been studied in order to assess cardiovascular risk in both primary and secondary prevention. C-reactive protein is a plasmatic protein of the pentraxin family and an acute phase reactant, very useful as a general inflammation marker. Currently, it is one of the most profoundly researched molecules in the cardiovascular field, yet its clinical applicability regarding cardiovascular risk remains an object of discussion, considered by some as a simple marker and by others as a true risk factor. In this sense, numerous studies propose its utilization as a predictor of cardiovascular risk through the use of high-sensitivity quantification methods for the detection of values <1 mg/L, following strict international guidelines. Increasing interest in these clinical findings has led to the creation of modified score systems including C-reactive protein concentrations, in order to enhance risk scores commonly used in clinical practice and offer improved care to patients with cardiovascular disease, which remains the first cause of mortality at the worldwide, national, and regional scenarios.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014
  • Source
    • "CRP levels have been found to be related to levels of cardiac enzymes and troponin I,61 while in some cases it was found to be a better marker of CVD than troponin T.62 CRP has been found to have a role in myocardial and cerebral infarct growth and has been consequently targeted by inhibitors to induce a cardio- protective effect.63 However this application has yet to be fully realised.64 Its reliability has several limitations as human CRP levels greatly vary, depending on ethnicity, gender, and genetics, and it has also been associated with obesity and weight loss.64,65 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept of the cardiovascular continuum, introduced during the early 1990s, created a holistic view of the chain of events connecting cardiovascular-related risk factors with the progressive development of pathological-related tissue remodelling and ultimately, heart failure and death. Understanding of the tissue-specific changes, and new technologies developed over the last 25-30 years, enabled tissue remodelling events to be monitored in vivo and cardiovascular disease to be diagnosed more reliably than before. The tangible product of this evolution was the introduction of a number of biochemical markers such as troponin I and T, which are now commonly used in clinics to measure myocardial damage. However, biomarkers that can detect specific earlier stages of the cardiovascular continuum have yet to be generated and utilised. The majority of the existing markers are useful only in the end stages of the disease where few successful intervention options exist. Since a large number of patients experience a transient underlying developing pathology long before the signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease become apparent, the requirement for new markers that can describe the early tissue-specific, matrix remodelling process which ultimately leads to disease is evident. This review highlights the importance of relating cardiac biochemical markers with specific time points along the cardiovascular continuum, especially during the early transient phase of pathology progression where none of the existing markers aid diagnosis.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Biomarker insights
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Langerhuus SN, Jensen KH, Tønnesen EK, Theil PK, Halekoh U, Lauridsen C. The effect of dietary fatty acids on post-operative inflammatory response in a porcine model. APMIS 2012; 120: 236–48. The potential anti-inflammatory effects of dietary fish oil (FO) have been studied in numerous clinical trials. However, variation in lifestyle and morbidity among patients can be difficult to control. In the present study, the impact of a 3-week dietary pre-treatment with 10% (w/w) FO (n 28), sunflower oil (SO, n 28), or animal fat (AF, n 28) was evaluated with respect to post-operative responses in inflammatory markers in a porcine model on aortic vascular prosthetic graft infection. In the early post-operative period (0 < day ≤ 3), FO suppressed whole blood IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-α responsiveness to LPS stimulation, decreased peripheral leukocyte IL-8 mRNA abundance, reinforced an increase in total leukocyte count, and counteracted a decrease in mononuclear leukocyte count compared with SO. In the late post-operative period (3 < day ≤ 14), FO increased total leukocyte count and showed higher maximum CRP and haptoglobin concentrations compared with SO. Compared with AF, FO decreased peripheral leukocyte IL-8 mRNA abundance in the early post-operative period, and increased total leukocyte count and maximum CRP concentration in the late post-operative period. In conclusion, the post-operative response in a number of inflammatory markers was affected by FO, and this was most apparent compared with SO.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Apmis
Show more