A c-reactive protein test measures the amount of c-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood to identify inflammation. There are many reasons doctors order c-reactive protein tests. High-sensitivity tests can evaluate the risk of coronary artery disease, while standard testing checks for infection and other conditions.

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1. C-Reactive Protein Production

The body sends c-reactive protein into the bloodstream as a response to inflammation. Though inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or infection, it also causes swelling, redness, and pain. C-reactive protein is primarily made in the liver but macrophages, lymphocytes, adipocytes, and smooth muscle cells also synthesize it.

CRP blood test jarun011 / Getty Images
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