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PMR - What is a normal CRP reading?

Hi Everyone - my CRP level is 28.4. Is this very high or is it quite low?

What is the normal level?

Also if I've been on 15mg of Pred for a month can I just stop - or do I have to taper slowly?



10 Replies

I think that is probably quite high - but without knowing the units it was measured in you can't say for sure. 99% of patients have a normal level of under 10mg/litre or 1mg/100mls of blood.

Why do you want to stop your pred if you have a high reading - it means there is still inflammation? But yes - if you are stopping it then it must be done slowly, not just overnight.


Dear PMRpro -you really know everything there is to know about PMR!

When I asked my Dr the inflammation reading he said 28.4.

Could this be the ESR level?

To be honest I don't know what ESR and CRP mean!




ESR is the Erythrocte Sedimentation Rate - whole blood is put into a long thin tube which is set up vertically and they see how quickly the red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle to the bottom. The distance they fall in an hour is the figure they give as ESR. It should be less than 20, some hospitals say 30. It is always a whole number is it is the number of millimetres. The ESR is affected by lots of things - but as a sign of inflammation it is the proteins in the blood that change the way the blood cells behave.

CRP is one of the proteins in the blood I mentioned which usually goes up when there is inflammation in the body and it can be measured accurately - so I suspect the 28.4 is the CRP. It is also affected less by other things than the ESR.

Either way - that figure for your CRP is high, whichever units they're using.

Since you are here on this forum, do I assume your doctor thinks it is PMR that you have? If so - you will need to be on pred a lot longer than just a month. It is just managing your symptoms to reduce the pain and stiffness until the cause of them burns out - and that is more likely to be a couple of years than a couple of months. You won't stay on 15mg for ever, you will be encouraged to reduce it to find the lowest dose that works, but if you stop the pred, the symptoms will come back if it is PMR.


pro hi I just receive my crp of 15.2. A jump from last week 6.9. Just started on the proper dose of Valtrex for the herpes and have a cold coming on. Throat is very sore. I guess this crp reading could be from the above and not the GCA. Didn't take an ESR. I think the crp is more reliable. So the thought of reducing to 30/25 is out of the question eh...I don't have any GCA symptoms, but I need to get the crp down a little. Do you think I should be taking both blood tests. I usually do, but if not done in time the ESR could be off. Your opinion would be appreciated. Thank you. Marilyn


I definitely wouldn't reduce yet no - and the CRP needs repeating to see if it is still going up. If so - you know what I'm going to say don't you?

I honestly can't see a lot of point in the ESR - if the CRP is rising, so will the ESR as CRP is one of the proteins that leads to the changes in ESR. I'm biased as I have to pay for my blood tests so it costs more to have both done ;-)


Normal CRP is 0 to 3 I had a 4.6 then a 6.9 I believe and then The 15.2. I don't think I ever had a normal CRP. I did however have several normal ESR tests. The 15 was a big jump in a week. It's kind of scary. I did read somewhere that one of our members with herpes had a hell of a time with the blood Numbers while the herpes was active. Now that I am on the proper dose of Valtrex perhaps it will change. But now ------- it's a sore throat which will probably be a doozy of a cold. It's more wait and see. And that's what we GCA people do best. Thank you

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Pro. Sorry the normal CRP in U S is 0-4.9. Marilyn


I started at CRP of 123.4. The normal is 0-5. Yours should go down slowly mine did. I am assuming you are in UK as the measurement in the US is ten times different. If you just stop pred after a month you may have major problems. The pred starts to produce the cortysol that is normally done by your adrenal glands, so your adrenals go to sleep. You have to taper down to stop yourself having an adrenal crisis, as they are now at the point that they will have trouble leaping back into action so quickly. It probably would not have mattered if you had only been taking pred for just a week or two.


Hello Maria

You and I started on pred within a week or so of each other.

I found it extremely useful to read 'Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis' a survival guide' by Kate Gilbert. it gives so much information, and I know that you will find it helpful. I have also found it very useful to follow the posts on this forum. Gaining knowledge is what we need to do to aid recovery.



I have been advised that the normal level of CRP is 6. You have a long way to go, reduce preds very slowly. I have had PMR for over 5 years and have reduced to zero preds many times only to go back on them. I am presently on 2 mg on one day followed by three days of one pred, then two again as recommended by my doctor. Try a month on 14 mg then a month on 13 and so on.


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