The course of high-sensitive C-reactive protein in correlation with pain and clinical function in patients with acute lumbosciatic pain and chronic low back pain—A 6 months prospective longitudinal study


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Abstract

In this prospective longitudinal study with a follow-up of 6 months, the course of serum concentration of C-reactive protein was measured by an ultrasensitive immunoassay in 31 patients with acute lumbosciatic pain and 41 patients with chronic low back pain. High-sensitive CRP (hsCRP), pain and clinical function were assessed at ten fixed time-points during follow-up. The course of hsCRP values was assessed in relation to the course of pain and clinical function adjusting for possible confounding factors. At the beginning of the study, there were no statistically significant differences in mean hsCRP levels in patients with acute lumbosciatic pain (1.49 mg/l) compared to the levels obtained in patients with chronic low back pain (1.30 mg/l) and those in a control group from the general population (1.26 mg/l). In patients with acute lumbosciatic pain, hsCRP declined significantly in the initial period of 3 weeks with a corresponding decrease in pain and improvement in function and clinical evaluation as assessed with the straight leg raising test (SLR), whereas after this period, the course of the hsCRP did not correspond with the clinical parameters. In patients with chronic low back pain, hsCRP remained approximately constant throughout the whole period with no correlation with pain or function. As a conclusion, according to this study levels of hsCRP do not have a major clinical relevance when evaluating the long-term course of patients with acute lumbosciatic pain and chronic low back pain and therefore should not be taken into primary consideration when decisions on therapy are made.

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