C-reactive protein
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  C-reactive protein

C-reactive protein

    A protein produced by the liver. An acute-phase reactant whose quantity serves as a guide to the presence and severity of inflammation.


Any of a group of complex organic compounds which contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually sulfur, the characteristic element being nitrogen. Proteins, the principal constituents of the protoplasm of all cells, are of high molecular weight and consist essentially of combinations of a-amino acids in peptide linkages. Twenty different amino acids are commonly found in proteins, and each protein has a unique genetically defined amino acid sequence which determines its specific shape and function. Their roles include enzymatic catalysis, transport and storage, coordinated motion, nerve impulse generation and many others.

The largest organ in the body. The liver carries out many important functions, such as making bile, changing food into energy, and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood.

A reaction to an injury to the body - by infection, chemicals or physical agents. The symptoms can be - depending on the location of the injury- redness, swelling, heat and pain. The purpose of the inflammation is to dilute and destroy the agent causing the inflammation. To do this, the immune system starts a cascade of actions that causes active cells to gather at the affected location. It is these cells and fluids that cause the redness, swelling, heat and pain.



Colles fracture
Fracture of distal radius and ulna just proximal to the wrist.

Connective tissue disease
Connective tissue diseases are inflammatory multisystem diseases characterised by evidence of autoimmunity (e.g. antibodies to cellular components) in which there are often prominent signs of involvement of the joints and other parts of the locomotor system. e.g. SLE.

Sometimes referred to just as 'steroids'. Hormones (which occur naturally) which have a variety of actions when given therapeutically. Usually administered for their anti-inflammatory effect. Their use is limited by unwanted side-effects which may sometimes be serious.

Prostaglandins can be of either COX-1 or COX-2 type. COX-2 are inflammatory and COX-1 are cytoprotective - e.g. to gastric mucosa.

Cranial arteritis
A vasculitic disorder which presents with head pain and scalp tenderness and a high ESR. Sudden loss of vision may occur due to retinal artery occlusion. Part of the polymyalgia rheumatica disease spectrum. Also known as giant cell or temporal arteritis.

C-reactive protein

Grating sensation or sound which may be appreciated on joint movement - signifies roughness of joint surfaces.

CREST Syndrome
Calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, (O)Esophageal dysmotility, Sclerodactyly and Telangectasia. A variant of scleroderma - now usually referred to as Limited Cutaneous Scleroderma

Phenomenon of precipitation of immunoglobulins in serum on exposure to cold. Associated with vasculitis and Raynaud's phenomenon.

Crystal arthritis
Joint inflammation due to deposition of certain types of crystal. e.g. gout due to urate crystals.

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