Clinical relevance of high sensitivity C-reactive protein in cardiology
Coping with cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which are of the main causes of death worldwide, has influenced investigation of high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) and its role in pathogenesis, prognosis and prevention of CVD. hsCRP can be synthesized in vascular endothelium, atherosclerotic plaques, and theory of inflammatory origin of atherosclerosis is being more widely debated, raising questions, whether higher hsCRP plasma concentration might be the cause or the consequence. Summing up controversial data from multiple studies, guidelines recommend hsCRP testing for both, primary (stratifying CVD risk groups, selecting patients for statin therapy) and secondary CVD prevention (prognosis of CVD and its treatment complications, evaluation of treatment efficacy in moderate CVD risk group). hsCRP testing also has role in heart failure, atrial fibrillation, arterial hypertension, valve pathology and prognosis of coronary stent thrombosis or restenosis. Medications (the well-known and the new specific – CRP binding) affecting its concentration are being investigated as well.