Covid 19 Helplines & Resources

LAST UPDATED: 1:05 AM 8 May 2021

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CRP (C-reactive protein)

MAY 5 2021: The Better India – CRP, HRCT Scan, D-Dimer & IL-6: Decoding What These Tests Mean For A COVID-19 Patient:

  • Dr Bharat Gopal, senior consultant, pulmonology at Fortis Hospital in Delhi answers some questions relating to CRP, HRCT Scan D-Dimer And IL-6 tests
  • CRP stands for C-reactive protein, which may be raised in infections caused due to inflammatory reaction and related tissue destruction. One possible explanation for the rise of CRP levels when a person is COVID-19 positive is the overproduction of inflammatory cytokines which are released by the body to fight the virus. What is important to note here is that usually, a blood test to determine the CRP value is done on day five or six. Only in cases where the condition of the patient has worsened, which in turn warrants a change in therapy, is the CRP test prescribed earlier.
  • If CRP is more than 70mg/L, even with normal SPO2-, it could be an indication of impending cytokine storm, which needs immediate interventions.

IL-6

MAY 5 2021: The Better India – CRP, HRCT Scan, D-Dimer & IL-6: Decoding What These Tests Mean For A COVID-19 Patient:

  • IL-6 is one of the key mediators of inflammation and viral cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients, i.e. when the body shows a hyper immune response. We have found IL-6 to be an effective, readily implementable test that can help provide substantial insight into proper patient management.
  • However the delay in sample collection and early measurement in the lab leads to errors in the results. Hence, it’s more important to do this in case of hospitalisation in moderate to severe cases, where an IL-6 therapy is being planned. For mild cases, CRP can be itself a good marker.

HRCT

MAY 5 2021: The Better India – CRP, HRCT Scan, D-Dimer & IL-6: Decoding What These Tests Mean For A COVID-19 Patient:

  • This is a CT scan of lungs to look at the involvement in COVID. Do note that not everyone needs to get a CT scan done.
  • HRCT chest is being inappropriately used by both doctors and patients for mild cases, who do not have hypoxia.
  • It is not to be performed in every patient with a RT-PCR positive report.

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