Raised ESR and hsCRP levels are markers of inflammation. ESR and hsCRP can be raised in many inflammatory conditions – for example:
- Certain infections (mainly bacterial infections).
- Cardiovascular disease
- Autoimmune conditions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Various other muscular and connective tissue disorders – for example, polymyalgia rheumatica, or systemic lupus erythematosus
- Tissue injury and burns
- Some cancers- for example myeloma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Crohn’s disease
- After operations
ESR and hsCRP are nonspecific tests. In other words, a raised level means that ‘something is going on’ but further tests will be needed to clarify exactly what that is. For example, you may be unwell but the cause may not be clear. A raised ESR and hsCRP may indicate that some inflammatory condition is likely to be the cause. This may prompt your practitioner to do further tests to find the cause.