The Role of C-Reactive Protein in the Evaluation and Management of Infants With Suspected Sepsis

Joan M. Hengst, RNC, MSN, ARNP


Adv Neonatal Care. 2003;3(1) 

In This Article

The Clinical Application of CRP Testing in Infants With Suspected Sepsis

When used appropriately, serial CRP levels are a useful clinical tool. The following evidence-based guidelines are offered for the use of CRP in the evaluation and management of infants with suspected sepsis:

  1. Carefully review the maternal and infant's history and physical and clinical course to assess for confounding factors that could increase CRP levels.

  2. Use serial CRP levels in conjunction with other established sepsis workup tests, including WBC count with differential and blood culture.

  3. CRP testing should be used only in term and near-term infants.

  4. Begin drawing quantitative CRP measurements 24 hours after the onset of signs and symptoms of infection. Repeat the level 24 hours later to capture the maximal rise.

  5. Obtain at least 2 normal CRP levels (≤10 mg/L) 24 hours apart to identify infants unlikely to be infected.

  6. Consider discontinuing antibiotics at 48 hr if at least 2 CRP levels are normal.


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