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What does a positive CRP blood test result indicate?

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Quick Answer

A positive CRP blood test typically indicates inflammation throughout the body, according to MedlinePlus. When a person is healthy, tests do not find CRP, or C-reactive protein, in the blood. Increased levels are caused by many conditions, including cancer, heart attack, inflammatory bowel disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and tuberculosis.

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Full Answer

Although positive CRP results suggest inflammation, they do not diagnose a specific disease or reveal the precise location of a problem, MedlinePlus explains. In addition to looking for general inflammation, doctors use CRP tests to monitor the performance of anti-inflammatory drugs and search for recurrence of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The test is not foolproof, however, because these diseases sometimes do not increase CRP levels.

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