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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 124021, 11 pages
Review Article

Interpretation of C-Reactive Protein Concentrations in Critically Ill Patients

1Department of Intensive Care, CHU-Charleroi, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 92 Boulevard Janson, 6000 Charleroi, Belgium
2Experimental Medicine Laboratory, CHU-Charleroi, ULB 222 Unit, 6110 Montigny-Le-Tilleul, Belgium

Received 6 April 2013; Accepted 4 September 2013

Academic Editor: Anthony Gerlach

Copyright © 2013 Christophe Lelubre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Infection is often difficult to recognize in critically ill patients because of the marked coexisting inflammatory process. Lack of early recognition prevents timely resuscitation and effective antimicrobial therapy, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Measurement of a biomarker, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration, in addition to history and physical signs, could facilitate diagnosis. Although frequently measured in clinical practice, few studies have reported on the pathophysiological role of this biomarker and its predictive value in critically ill patients. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiological role of CRP and its potential interpretation in the inflammatory processes observed in critically ill patients.