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How to use C-reactive protein
  1. Emma M Dyer1,
  2. Thomas Waterfield2,
  3. Hannah Baynes3
  1. 1 Kings College Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2 Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 King’s College London School of Medical Education, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Waterfield, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK; twaterfield01{at}


A 3-month-old baby is brought to the paediatric emergency department by their parents because of a fever. You decide to check their inflammatory markers. Their C-reactive protein (CRP) level comes back as 20 mg/L. Does this affect whether or not you start antibiotic therapy? Does it influence your decision to admit or discharge the patient? CRP is a commonly used biochemical test and yet its use is constantly debated and challenged. We look at the current evidence and suggest the best way to use this test in clinical practice.

  • biochemistry
  • general paediatrics
  • infectious diseases
  • neonatology

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  • Contributors EMD was responsible for all aspects of this work including the concept of the article and content of the manuscript. TW critically appraised the manuscript, contributed further ideas and designed the infographic. HB also critically appraised the manuscript. All authors edited the manuscript and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.