C-reactive protein (CRP) is a non-specific marker of inflammation in the body. It is an "acute phase reactant", which means that changes in the level of CRP occur fairly quickly with changes in the cause of inflammation.
Infections are one reason that the CRP can be elevated, but it can also be elevated for unknown reasons related to the stress of the baby's birth.
CRP is typically used with other lab tests such as blood cultures, and the patient's overall clinical condition to help determine the risk of infection and whether antibiotic treatment is required.
If the blood cultures are negative, and the baby's clinical status is good, an elevated CRP level may be due to other factors.
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