C-reactive protein in the detection of inflammation and its role in coronary artery disease

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Hein, Lance D.
Muma, Richard D.

Heart failure is becoming more common and increasing annually with coronary artery disease (CAD) being the number one cause. Current research is focused on detecting more risk factors and markers for heart disease in order to develop interventions preventing its progression. C-Reactive Protein (CRP), the most widely studied inflammatory protein, plays a role in the atherosclerotic process of vessels, which subsequently can lead to infarct. However, the exact role of CRP in the acute coronary situations is not completely understood.

Methodology: The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic evidence-based literature review addressing the issue of CAD and CRP. Medline was utilized to obtain adequate literature associated with certain, specific key terms. Articles were categorized into groups of evidence and separated into grades of evidence to answer the two main research questions: Is CRP a better marker for detection of inflammation? Is the presence of CRP associated with CAD?

Results: Forty-eight articles matched the desired criteria and were reviewed using evidence-based methods. All forty-eight articles determined that CRP was a superior marker in the detection of inflammation. Twenty-four articles correlated CRP with CAD along with other mediated factors of vessel disease, with most being grade A evidence.

Conclusion: CRP is a superior marker of inflammation and plays an important role in the development of CAD.

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A project presented to the Department of Physician Assistant of Wichita State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Physician Assistant.