C Reactive Protein

When I was having my laboratory examinations done at Medical City a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see another item in the lab request.  My doctor apparently added another extra item to my usual lab tests.  I don't usually pay attention to what is written there, because after so many years, I got used to the fact that it usually contains the usual things: Urinalysis, Complete Blood Count (CBC), and Edema Sedimentation Rate (ESR).  Now, there's a new line there, a more expensive line.  It was "CRP".  At first I thought it had something to do with the heart ( a Cardiac something exam ).  It was expensive, more pricey than the other tests for me at about one thousand four hundred pesos.  When the results came out, I already got the name of the expensive test: C - Reactive Protein.  When I had my monthly check-up, I asked my doctor what the test is all about.

She said it's a measure of system inflammation.  Hm.  I thought that ESR was the measure of inflammation (by the way, all my labs are normal).  She said that ESR goes beyond normal when inflammation like rheumatism occurs.  CRP, on the other hand, becomes abnormal when the inflammation is due to infection.  So it is possible that my ESR could be normal but my CRP isn't.  But then again, as my doctor said, there's more analysis to be done than just looking if it's beyond the normal levels.  Problem is, my doctor requested it again for my next check-up.  Looks like its another two grand plus plus for lab results next month.  *Sigh*.