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Flashcards in Inflammatory Markers Deck (11)
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What would change within the full blood count in response to inflammation

WCC would increase


What is CRP

C-Reactive protein
Produced in the liver when antibodies are formed in response to inflammation, bacterial infection or tissue trauma.
Acute-phase protein


What would give a false positive/negative result for CRP

IU contraceptive devices and the oral contraceptive may give a false positive.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may produce a false negative.


How fast would you expect the CRP to rise and then fall in an acutely ill patient

5 – 6 hours after the initial insult CRP levels begin to rise and are maximal at 48 hours. Levels decrease rapidly once the inflammation has eased.


What is ESR

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
Test measures the settlement rate of RBC as they fall to the bottom of a tube of unclotted blood (in 1 hour).


How and why does ESR change in the acute phase of an illness

Normally red cells are negatively charged so they tend to repel each other. However when the blood is filled with more fibrinogen (a large positively charged protein) as part of the inflammatory response, it causes the red cells to clump together and create heavier clusters that fall quicker.

Erythrocytes aggregation is also triggered by high levels of immunoglobulins (antibodies) so ESR is also raised in auto-immune disease.


What is Procalcitonin

A biomarker that exhibits greater specificity than other pro-inflammatory markers in identifying patients with severe inflammation and infection?
Synthesised primarily by the C-cells of the thyroid gland (to a lesser extent in the neuroendocrine tissue of other organs such as the lungs and intestines) procalcitonin levels in the blood are normally very low.


Where is procalcitonin produced

Primarily in the C cells within the thyroid gland - however, any organ can produce it when stimulated by inflammatory cytokines and bacterial endo-toxins


What is CK

Creatine Kinase
Creatine Kinase is an enzyme found mainly in skeletal muscles, heart and brain (much lower amounts).

Low levels of CK in the blood are normal, elevated levels indicate damage to muscle, heart or brain.


When would a rise in CK occur

Rhabdomyolysis - a rapid breakdown of muscle tissue. (trauma, drugs etc).
Muscular dystrophy.


When would you test for CK

Muscle pain/injury.
Muscle weakness
In balance problems.
Numbness or tingling

Infections, lengthy surgery, drugs, strenuous exercise