C-reactive protein diagnostic and prognostic value in patients presenting at the emergency room with chest pain

Alfredo Antonio Potsch, Aristarco Gonçalves Siqueira Filho, Bernardo Rangel Tura, Roberto Gamarski, Roberto Bassan, Mônica Viegas Nogueira, Marco Aurélio E Moutinho, Antônio Cláudio Masetto Silva, Humberto Villacorta, Augusta Leite Campos
Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 2006, 87 (3): 275-80

OBJECTIVE: To test immediate diagnostic and prognostic values of C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients admitted to the emergency room (ER) with chest pain (CP) without ST-segment elevation on the electrocardiogram (ECG).

METHODS: From January 2002 to December 2003, 980 patients were consecutively seen in the ER with CP suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) (age = 64.9 +/- 14.3, men = 55%, diabetic = 18%, normal ECG = 84%). Serial CRP, creatine kinase MB mass (CKMB-mass) and troponin I determinations were performed on admission, in addition to serial ECG. CRP measurements were standardized (s-CRP) by the upper limit of normal (ULN) of the test used (3.0 mg/L for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP] and 0.1 mg/dL for titrated CRP [t-CRP]).

RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-five patients were diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and their s-CRP values were 1.31 +/- 2.90 (median = 0.47) compared to 0.79 +/- 1.39 (0.30) in no-AMI patients (p = 0.031). The s-CRP > 1.0 showed 30% sensitivity and 80% specificity, plus negative and positive predictive values of 6.1% and 96.7%, respectively, for AMI diagnosis. There were forty in-hospital cardiac events (16 deaths, 22 urgent revascularizations, and 2 acute myocardial infarction). In the first quartile of the s-CRP (< 0.10), three events were recorded, while in the fourth quartile (> 0.93) 15 events (p = 0.003) occurred. In the logistic regression model, masculine gender and s-CRP > 0.32 (odds ratio 7.6, 2.8 and 2.2, respectively) were independent predictors of cardiac events and left ventricular failure.

CONCLUSION: In patients with chest pain presenting at the emergency room, s-CRP was not a good marker of AMI, although this diagnosis is virtually excluded by a normal value; in addition, values one-third above the upper limit of normal (>1 mg/L for hs-CRP or >0.33 mg/dL for t-CRP) were predictive of in-hospital adverse cardiac events.

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