What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A CRP test is a blood test. If you're having a CRP test along with other blood tests, such as a blood cholesterol test (lipid panel or lipid profile), you may have your blood tests performed early in the morning, since you'll have to fast for the cholesterol test.

Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from your arm. Before the needle is inserted, the puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic and an elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. This causes the veins in your arm to fill with blood.

After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood is collected into a vial or syringe. The band is then removed to restore circulation, and blood continues to flow into the vial. Once enough blood is collected, the needle is removed and the puncture site is covered with a pressure wrap.

The entire procedure will likely last a couple of minutes. It's relatively painless.

After the procedure

There are no special precautions you need to take after your CRP test. You should be able to drive yourself home and do all your normal activities.

It may take a few days for you to get your results back. Your doctor should explain to you what the results of your test mean.

If you're having a CRP test to help find out your heart disease risk, keep in mind that your CRP level is only one risk factor for coronary artery disease. If your test result shows you have a high CRP level, it doesn't necessarily mean you're at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Talk to your doctor about your other risk factors and ways you can try to prevent coronary artery disease and a heart attack.

Aug. 16, 2013