ISSN 2398-2942      

Blood biochemistry: C-reactive protein (CRP)


Yvonne McGrotty


  • C-reactive protein (CRP Acute phase proteins ) is a positive acute phase protein released as part of the acute phase response following tissue injury.
  • The acute phase response is highly non-specific but helps to limit tissue damage and promote healing following trauma, infection or inflammation.
  • The concentration of CRP increases dramatically in dogs within 4-6 hours of inflammation or tissue damage.
  • The magnitude of the increase reflects the intensity of the inflammation.
  • CRP decreases rapidly again following successful management of the underlying inflammatory process.
  • CRP is of no diagnostic use in the cat.


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  • A number of studies have validated the use of the human assays in dogs. Canine serum CRP can be reliably measured using the commercially available turbidometric immunoassay and ELISA Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assay designed for use in humans.
  • An ELISA is currently available that is specific for canine CRP.
  • CRP is isolated from acute-phase serum by affinity chromatography.


  • Available at many commercial laboratories, eg Garscube Diagnostics, Glasgow, UK; Axiom Veterinary Laboratories, Devon,
  • Patient-side ELISA is also available for use in practice.



  • Test is poorly specific - acute phase proteins raised in any inflammatory disease and not specific for any one condition.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Usually must be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical findings to reach a diagnosis.

Result Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Parra M D, Tuomola M, Cabezas-Herrera J & Ceron J J (2005) Use of a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay for determination of canine C-reactive protein concentrations in whole blood. Am J Vet Res 66 (1), 62-66 PubMed.
  • Parra M D, Tecles F, Martinez-Subiela S & Ceron J J (2005) C-reactive protein measurement in canine saliva. J Vet Diagn Invest 17 (2), 139-144 PubMed.
  • Ceron J J, Eckersall P D & Martinez-Subiela S (2005) Acute phase proteins in dogs and cats: current knowledge and future perspectives. Vet Clin Pathol 34 (2), 85-99 PubMed.
  • Hurter K et al (2005) Measurements of C-reactive protein in serum and lactate dehydrogenase in serum and synovial fluid of patients with osteoarthritis. Vet J 169 (2), 282-285 PubMed.
  • Fransson B A, Karlstam E, Bergstrom A, Lagerstedt A S, Park J S, Evans M A, Ragle C A (2004) C-reactive Protein in the Differentiation of Pyometra From Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia/Mucometra in Dogs. JAAHA 40 (5) 391-399 PubMed.
  • Martinez-Subiela S, Ginel P J, Ceron J J (2004) Effects of different glucocorticoid treatments on serum acute phase proteins in dogs. Vet Rec 154 ( 26), 814-817 PubMed.
  • McGrotty Y L, Knottenbelt C M, Ramsey I K, Reid S W J, Eckersall P D (2004) Evaluation of a rapid assay for canine C-reactive protein. Vet Rec 154 (6), 175-176 PubMed.
  • Jergens A E, Schreiner C A, Frank D E, Niyo Y, Ahrens F E, Eckersall P D, Benson T J, Evans R (2003) A scoring index for disease activity in canine inflammatory bowel disease. JVIM 17 (3), 291-297.
  • Kjelgaard-Hansen M, Jensen A L, Kristensen A T (2003) Evaluation of a commercially available human C-reactive protein (CRP) turbidometric immunoassay for determination of canine serum CRP concentration. Vet Clin Path 32 (2), 81-87 PubMed.
  • Martinez-Subiela S, Tecles F, Eckersall P D, Ceron J J (2002) Serum concentrations of acute phase proteins in dogs with leishmaniasis. Vet Rec 150 (8),241-244.
  • Thougaard V, Hellmén E, Pedersen H D & Jensen A L (2002) Correlation between 1-Acid Glycoprotein and Total Sialic Acid in Serum from Dogs with Tumours. J Vet Med Series A 46 (4), 231.
  • Burton S A, Honor D J, Mackenzie A L, Eckersall P D, Markham R J, Horney B S (1994) C-reactive protein concentration in dogs with inflammatory leukograms. Am J Vet Res 55 (5), 613-618.

Other sources of information

  • Tecles F, Martínez Subiela S, Parra M D, Spiranelli E, Paltrinieri S, Cerón J J (2004) Use of Acute Phase Proteins for Monitoring Treatment Evolution in Dogs with Different Pathologic Conditions. 14th ECVIM-CA Congress.
  • Tecles F, Parra M D, Cerón J J (2003) Use of C-Reactive Protein Measurement in Saliva as a Marker of Inflammation in Dogs. (Abstract) 13th ECVIM-CA Congress 2003.
  • Holm J L, Rozanski E A, Freeman L M, Webster C R L (2003) C-Reactive Protein Concentrations in Canine Acute Pancreatitis. (Abstract) International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium 2003.
  • Martínez-Subiela S, Cerón J J (2002) Serum amyloid A levels in canine leishmaniasisEuropean Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ESVCP) 4th Annual Meeting in conjunction with the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ECVIM) 12th Annual Meeting.
  • European Concerted Action on Animal Acute Phase Proteins.


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