LUPUS UK
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CRP and ESR

Has anyone had odd results from CRP and ESR depending where the tests were carried out? I was ill last year and taken to hospital. CRP and ESR were tested and were fine - CRP <5 not sure of ESR figure. I was transferred to another hospital and tests repeated an hour later - CRP over 140 and ESR over 80. That seems a very fast rise. Could the first hospital be testing wrongly?

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To get that sort of difference in an hour is a bit strange. CRP rises faster in response to inflammation than ESR but I'm really not sure HOW fast it rises.

A bit more searching found this:

"CRP rises within two hours of the onset of inflammation, up to 50,000-fold, and peaks at 48 hours. Its half-life of 18 hours is constant, and therefore its level is determined by the rate of production and hence the severity of the precipitating cause."

So actually - if the inflammation was severe enough, yes, it could have risen from zero to 140 in an hour or so. I assume the second hospital repeated it? Was the level still rising later do you know?

Errors occur for all sorts of reasons - and one is that the samples have been mixed up as well as the machine wasn't working correctly. Normally the latter would be caught because there is plenty of quality control.

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Thanks for your reply - much appreciated. The strange thing about it was that I was already very unwell when the first test was carried out and had been taken into hospital by ambulance with severe headache and high temperature. They were thinking sepsis initially but no infection was found and it was put down to auto-immune. I requested a copy of my results but the ESR was missing from the report from the first hospital, so I couldn't compare that one. I am a bit suspicious of how the first hospital carries out the tests and wondered if anyone had come across problems like this before.

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Maybe they didn't do or report an ESR - it takes an hour to do from the time it is set up.

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My CRP and ESR (now PV) are always elevated. However when I had pancreatitis my CRP went up from 30 to 160 from within 2 or 3 hours. When I was discharged from hospital 10 days later it was down at a record 2.5 but my ESR just kept slowly rising up to approx 90 - which the consultant said was to do with my autoimmunity. This was all in same hospital lab though.

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