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C-reactive Protein (CRP) and MS
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C-reactive Protein (CRP) and MS

I had some recent bloodwork done last week.  

My CRP level was flagged as "high"  (value 6.5 in a 0.0 - 4.9 range).

My RA/ANA was "normal" and my sed rate was "normal" (value 17 in a 0-20 range).

The PCP said that the CRP is a generic inflammation marker, but since the RA was normal, didn't indication RA.

So, has anyone had just an elevated CRP results, without an elevated RA/ANA/Sed Rate?  

Does this have any indication towards MS?  

I can't find much on the internet about elevated CRP results, except to indicate coronary risk.  I did find one study which indicated that CRP values can be higher during an MS flare, but I'm not in a flare right now (or at least I don't think so)?




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20 Comments Post a Comment
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215385_tn?1201806501
Hello...can I just ask what CRP means?
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230625_tn?1216764664
Hi Em!

CRP is c-reative protein. This is a little blurb about CRP.  I was curious if an elevated CRP by itself could be an indicator for MS.

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C-reactive protein is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is body-wide (systemic) inflammation. The CRP test is considered a general test, not a specific one. In other words, it can reveal that there is inflammation present in the body, but it cannot tell you where it is.

Your health care provider might use the CRP test to check for flare-ups of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis. The test might also be used to tell if anti-inflammatory medicine is working.

However, a low CRP level does not always mean that there is no inflammation present. Levels of CRP may not be increased in persons with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The reason for this is not known.

A more sensitive CRP test, called a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) assay, is available to determine a person's risk for heart disease. Many consider a high CRP level to be a positive risk factor for heart disease. However, is not known whether CRP is merely a sign of cardiovascular disease or whether it actually plays a role in causing cardiovascular problems
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215385_tn?1201806501
Hello again.  I wondered if it was the same as Creatine Kenais? Having my CK levels monitored closely at the moment as my reading was 6 times what it should be.  I believe this is also to do with inflamation (inflammation) etc...that's why I thought it may be the same thing?  Do you know if it is?

Em  
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Avatar_m_tn
Creatinine Kinase is a muscle enzyme.  It is elevated when the muscles are inflamed or damaged, and is different than C-reactive protein....Craig.
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147426_tn?1317269232
The inflammation in MS is confined to the CNS.  The Blood-Brain Barrier prevents the products of inflammation from freely moving into the peripheral system.  For this reason an elevated peripheral (blood) CRP is not expected in MS.  Marked elevation points toward inflammation that is peripheral to the CNS.  My neuro said that they sometimes see a minor elevation in MS and no other source is found, but it is so non-specific that it does not help with the diagnosis of MS.

To state in another way.  If the CRP is very, very elevated, it would point away from MS and toward a more traditionally, autoimmune which includes inflammation OUTSIDE the central nervous system.

Quix
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215385_tn?1201806501
Thanks Craig..
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220917_tn?1309788081
My doctor said something about my blood work.  It has been all along.  Sometimes my white count is on the high end of normal, he noted.  But he was saying something about as chronic illness, there would be some kind of indication.  Is that would show?  Something like that?

I have had a false positive for speckled ANA before, and he saw that it was negative after that.  I think he was looking for an inflammatory marker or something, like sed rate, perhaps.  Would that be it, Quix?  Do you know what he would have meant?  Maybe with regards to the CFS, but he said 'chronic illness.'

Also, I think my Raynaud's phenomenon in my feet helped to clinch the CFS Dx with my doc, dagnabbit!   It happens in the cold, yes, but also, just because....my feet turn white, then purple at the drop of a hat!  Is there any Raynaud's link with MS?

Chronically Zilla*
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230625_tn?1216764664
Thanks for your info everyone and your explanation Quix!

Momzilla ~ my WBC has always shown just outside of the high end.  The DO that I just saw said that may be my "normal" and the ranges are just a bell curve of "normal" values.

Maybe your doctor was referring to an elevated Sed Rate???   I've always had my sed rate in the normal range, which is further confusing for me.    Have you seen a rheumy?   I'm looking for one to investigate some Sx that don't appear to be attributable to MS.  
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572651_tn?1333939396
These archives are great - I just googled "c reactive protein" and this post was one of the top hits.  My question was virtually identical - just got my lab results and besides my glucose numbers being a touch high ( glucose 135, HGB a1c = 6.3%) the only other number out of the normal range was my c reactive protein, at 4.75 mg/L.  Being a heart patient as well as looking at MS this is going to be another "hmmmmm, don't know for sure" from the doctor.

Thanks all,
Laura
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Avatar_n_tn
I have recently had bloodwork done and alot of my levels are abnormal.My c-reactive protein level was 15.1,my hct,hgb,rbc,and wbc are all below normal range.My question is,are any of these abnormal labs related to MS? My lupas test was negative and my sed rate was in the normal range.If anyone can help me with this I would really appreciate it. I am still going from doctor to doctor and may possibly have to go to the mayo clinic for more answers,I just can't stand the waiting.Thanks,Wanda
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone -
Momzilla:  What determined that your ANA was a "false" positive?  Was it only becuase it was negative on the next try?  ANA tests very commonly change from pos to neg to borderline, etc.  There is no sPECIFIC reason why this is, sometimes meds can change it, sometimes the level of disease activity can change.  In any case, a speckled pattern is typical of lupus.  Also, Raynauds is very common in lupus as well.  Sed rate is another test for inflammation but, as is the CRP, it doesnt say WHERE the inflammation is.  Do you have sxs of lupus (swollen, painful joints, fatigue, rash (any type), butterfly rash over cheeks and bridge of nose, mouth or nose sores, anemia, hair loss)?  If so, I would really try and see a rheumatologist.  A negaitve ANA (especially if its been positive before) does NOT rule out lupus.  My ANA was negative the entire time I was sick.  Not all docs are familiar with the fact that the ANA is only another indicator of lupus, it does not rule in OR out the disease.  Also, 5% of all lupus patients have a negative ANA...it is rare, but does exist.  They attribute this to the ANA eventually becoming positive during the course of the disease.  Many, many docs, however, will not treat for lupus without the positive ANA (this is starting to change, thank goodness).
Wanda:  Thats a pretty high CRP..  Mine right now is over 10, and I DO have lupus..And all your other test are indicative of lupus as well (low white count, red cell - anemia).  Again, not sure of your symptoms, but know that a negative ANA does not rule out lupus.  Your sed rate being normal does not rule it out elither.  Mine goes back and forth from high to normal...
With regards to whether these tests indicate MS, I do not know...Im just a lurknig lupie here, with some pretty bad neuro symptoms Im trying to figure out...so my knowledge is limited to lupus...sorry!
Good luck to you!
Love
Lauri
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for the info,I never would have expected to get a response so soon.Asfar as my lupas test,I have had.....ana panel,anti-dna,rnp(?)antibodies,smith antibodies,antiscleraderma-70 antibodies,sjogren's anti-ss-a,sjogren's anti-ss-b,anti-histone abs,anti-jo-1,AND....(ha) anti-centromere b antibodies   test done and all were normal. Are you familiar with any of these?My neurologist says he doesn't think i have lupus,and wants to refer me to a rhumatologist(sp?)    I have also had numerous mri's and they read demylenation and possible ms or vasculitis.I also am diagnosed with a seizure disorder and venous angioma as well as a carotoid cyst.I have been told that you can have a false reading on a lupus test and it may not read a possitive until an illness arises.Was it hard to diagnose you and did you get many neg. readings at first? I live in a small town and am considering going out of state to find some answers.Any info you can share with me will be greatly appreciated.THANKS ...wanda
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147426_tn?1317269232
Wanda, Welcome.  Please tell us your story in a new thread that is actually just yours so people will see you and be able to talk to you.  Just click on "Post a New Question" and write us your story.  It's clear you are being worked up for something and it may well be inflammatory with that CRP.

Lauri - Ahhh, don't be modest.  You know we love our wandering Lupies here!  Your voice of knowledge in that field is also very welcome as many of us do not know the ins and outs of Lupus and her cousins.

Quix
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you - that means alot.  Sometimes I feel as if Im kind of butting in, but when I hear someone talk of symptoms that correlate with lupus, I feel its only fair I should relay what I know.  Just like MS, lupus is so hard to get a Dx, its actually referred to as "the great mimic", as it can present in so many different ways.  And though the two diseases are really SO different, there are some overlapping symptoms (most of which are the ones that are non-specific - such as fatigue and pain) and some are the ones that keep us in limbo land...
Also, I really like the people here - there is alot of support and compassion, and the information is reliable.  I am a member of a great lupus site that is similiar, but its been down for a couple of weeks.
In any case, thanks for the welcome...though we may have different illnesses, I think we all have struggled through the pre-Dx and limbo process, and also the daily emotional and physical struggle of having a chronic illness.  Im glad Im a part of !!
Love Lauri
PS - Wanda, I'll answer your you on your new post..
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed with Discoid Lupus 4 years ago, negative on the ana test for systemic then.  I have arthritis, fatigue/severe, low creatinine, chronic lung disease, heart arthymia and mitrol valve prolapse..my life quality is 0.  I get doctors that want to treat one thing,..I cannot help thinking these are systems of one disease...I have other symptoms such as occassional short term memory problems..once it took me 5 minute to subtract 5 from 13 and I still wasn't sure i was right...I went from being normal weight to under weight to not overweight but at the high end for my height in a 2 month period and I stay at that wieght no matter what..I also now have severe heart burn but it doesnt go all the way up and stop mid chest and get modeerate headache and can't sleep
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi becca, I can certainly understand what u are going through. Sometimes getting the right doctor is the luck of the draw. I found the right doctor, willing to help find out whats wrong, but the wrong kind i am afraid (rheum.) but she assured me she will be with me every step of the way. She is leaving no room for error.  

"I cannot help thinking these are symptoms of one disease"
they probably are. All mine occur during pms and last around 2 weeks or a little more. Minor after that. The brain fog you have, dont let it get to you. It's aggrivating i know, and it is cause for concern but try and cope with it as best as you can until you find the right physician. With the fatigue, try not to stress too much with it, like if you thought you were failing on your housework and things of that nature. Dirty laundrey is not going to grow legs and walk off, it will be there when you feel good enough to get to it. Take one step at a time but make sure you stay a little active so you do not have muscle wasting and it will help with the fatige some too. For the sleeplessness, ask your doctor about a script for ambien if you dont already take it. Its the best on the market. Most of the time you have to tell them what you want. oh and do not, for the love of pete sake, take lunista. It leaves a bad after taste, like you had been chewing on copper wire or something. Its awful.

To me all your symptoms sounds like it might could be SLE, but i could be wrong. I would be happy to give you the contact information for my rheumy if you are in the p'cola florida area. She will dx with or without positive ana.

I wish you all the best and i hope this helped your feelings just a little. Remember, "Patience is a vertue"

xoxoxoxo
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Avatar_n_tn
I would love to get the info...I am in Sarasota but I would drive across the country to get a doc that listens...I am hospitalized or in the er pretty much every month...they always just treat the symptom...heart or lungs and now they say they need to wait 2 more months and recheck my kidneys as too low is also a sign of kidney failure...I owned my own company...cleaning autodealerships and lost it all due to a long hospitalization..when I was there I asked them to do a ana test and they said no because they were treating my lungs and heart and on my paperwork they put most likely change from discoid lupus to systemic but wouldnt do the test...makes no sense..and my laundry I think already started walking away!  :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey , the clothes will pile up very quickly . lol. Seems like the drs would have checked the ana while you were flaring like that. I am by no means a dr but it seems to make more sense. I too have the abnormal heartbeat and mitral valve prolapse and seldom have trouble out of it now that I am starting to recieve treatment for my condition from the rheumy. The heart meds can make you very sick alone, try and stay away from them if at all possible and for as long as you can. It was a shot in the dark to see if you were local to this rheumy and im glad that you are. Her name is Dr. Morris and she is in the Medical Center Clinic on North Davis Highway in P'cola. Her number is (850)474-8000. She is very sweet and has the best bedside manner. Your going to love her. When you see her and she dx's you after a few visits and numerous tests and bloodwork (they will drain you dry doing a whole list of bloodwork), you can drop the primary dr. if you want to and just see her. Make sure you tell her that you dont sleep too. She will fully be simpathetic toward you and she will advise you to get all the sleep you can. Dont be scared to ask her for anything because pain and no sleep is very much so a contributing factor in fatigue. xoxoxo
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm going to call her right after xmas...and set something up..since it's quite a drive I am going to see if she can do mega testing at once and I'll stay in the area...I probably can't get anything for sleep because of my chronic lung problem..I wake up cause I can't breathe well...They wouldn't do the ana test because I was rushed to a private hospital with no insurance...they only did lung and heart test mega...but they didn't even point out my kidney issue, my cardiologist assistant noticed it and that is the only reason they informed me...I have been mildly sick since my early 20's but never nothing would show..after I turn 34 it got severe..now I am sick most of the time and only a couple days a month feeling well.  I can't work anymore and I make sure I get enough exercise.  I applied for disability and most likely will be turned down but a local Social Security staff said in my case they are probably going to have a doctor look at me because of the multiple problems..but I am not holding my breathe...I need disability but more than that I need my life back..I am proud of myself if I vacuum and get all the dishes and dinner done besides taking care of my 2 boys and that is pathetic..I use to run circles around everyone.  I am in a flare now but i think it's stressed induced because my life long best friend died,  So I am trying to do nothing but relax right now.  I sincerely am deeply thankful for your assistance,...
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Avatar_f_tn
I am in the process of being tested for MS. Just got back the test results of the LP and some blood work and the CRP was 15.6, but all the ANA and sed rate was normal. I have not been back to see the doctor yet to go over all this with her yet. Not sure what all the other results mean yet, but some are not normal.  I am a 44 yo female. should I worry about the CRP? I am already worried about the MS scare.
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