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Acute-phase protein

Any protein whose plasma concentration increases (or decreases) by 25% or more during certain inflammatory disorders. The acute-phase proteins include C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), fibrinogen, and alpha 1-acid glycoprotein. Perhaps the best known of these acute-phase proteins is CRP, a plasma protein that rises in the blood with inflammation. The level of CRP in blood plasma can rise as high as 1000-fold with inflammation. Conditions that commonly lead to marked changes in CRP include infection, trauma, surgery, burns, inflammatory conditions, and advanced cancer. Moderate changes occur after strenuous exercise, heatstroke, and childbirth. Small changes in CRP occur after psychological stress and in several psychiatric illnesses. C-reactive protein is a test of value. Marked rises in CRP reflect the presence and intensity of inflammation. An elevation in CRP, however, is not a telltale sign pointing to just one disease. Also called an acute-phase reactant.
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