Exploring the Medical Value of Point-of-Care CRP Testing

Dr. Jan Verbakel, PhD, MD, Associate professor at KU Leuven
A Podcast with Dr. Jan Verbakel: The Medical Value of Point-of-Care CRP Testing:

In this engaging and informative podcast episode, Dr. Jan Verbakel discusses the medical value of point-of-care (POC) C-reactive protein (CRP) testing. The episode delves into this rapid diagnostic tool's various applications and benefits, providing valuable insights for healthcare professionals and patients alike. The podcast covers a range of important topics, such as the significance of CRP as a biomarker, the role of POC CRP testing in antibiotic stewardship, potential use of POC CRP testing in primary and ambulatory care, and the impact on patient care and outcomes.

Dr. Jan Verbakel also explores the integration of POC CRP testing into clinical workflows to optimize patient care. The podcast aims to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and everyday practice, empowering healthcare professionals in making informed decisions. Whether you are a healthcare provider seeking to expand your knowledge on POC CRP testing or a patient interested in understanding the benefits of this diagnostic tool, this podcast episode offers a valuable resource for staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

C-Reactive protein (CRP)

CRP is an evolutionarily highly conserved acute-phase plasma protein that is a key mediator in the acute phase response (APR) to tissue-damaging processes, such as infection, inflammation, trauma, and burns1. CRP testing supports differential disease diagnosis/classification, monitoring of inflammatory activity during disease progression, and follow-up on the effectiveness of antibiotic or anti-inflammatory treatment2. Point-of-care CRP tests are performed at the site of patient care and deliver rapid test results within a few minutes. Their accuracy can be comparable to laboratory testing3-4 and can influence clinical decisions at the initial consultation5-7.  Several economic evaluations have demonstrated that POC CRP is a cost-effective way of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in primary care.6-9


  1. Pathak, A., Agrawal, A. (2019). Evolution of C-reactive protein. Front Immunol 10, 943.
  2. Aguiar, F.J., Ferreira-Júnior, M., Sales, M.M., Cruz-Neto, L.M., Fonseca, L.A.M., Sumita, N.M., et al. (2013). C-reactive protein: Clinical applications and proposals for a rational use. Rev Assoc Med Bras 59, 85–92.
  3. Minaard, M.C., van de Pol, A.C., Broekhuizen, B.D.L., Verheij, T.J.M., Hopstaken, R.M., van Delft, S., et al. (2013). Analytical performance, agreement and user-friendliness of five C-reactive protein point-of-care tests. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 73, 627–634.
  4. Scharnhorst, V., Noordzij, P. G., Lutz, A., Graser, U., Püntener, D., Alquézar-Arbé, A. (2019). A multicenter evaluation of a point of care CRP Test. J Clin Biochem 71, 38-45.
  5. Aabenhus, R., Jensen, J.U.S., Jørgensen, K.J., Hróbjartsson, A., Bjerrum, L. (2014). Biomarkers as point-of-care tests to guide prescription of antibiotics in patients with acute respiratory infections in primary care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev CD010130.
  6. Oppong, R., Jit, M., Smith, R.D., Butler, C.C., Melbye, H., Mölstad, S., et al. (2013). Cost-effectiveness of point-of-care C-reactive protein testing to inform antibiotic prescribing decisions. Br J Gen Pract 63, e465–e471.
  7. Hunter, R. (2015). Cost-effectiveness of point-of-care C-reactive protein tests for respiratory tract infection in primary care in England. Adv Ther 32, 69-85.
  8. Holmes, E. A. F., Harris, S. D., Hughes, A., Craine, N., Hughes, D. A. (2018). Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Use of Point-of-Care C-Reactive Protein Testing to Reduce Antibiotic Prescribing in Primary Care. Antibiotics (Basel) 7, 106.
  9. Cals, J. W. L., Ament, A. J. H. A., Hood, K., Butler, C. C., Hopstaken, R. M., Wassink G. F. et al. (2011). C-reactive protein point of care testing and physician communication skills training for lower respiratory tract infections in general practice: economic evaluation of a cluster randomized trial. J Eval Clin Pract 17, 1059-1069. ;7(4):106.



Dr. Jan Verbakel’s research focuses on the diagnosis of serious diseases and the use of point-of-care devices in primary care, as part of the newly established EPI-Centre, of which he is the co-founder. He is a clinician with experience in primary care diagnostic research (both KU Leuven and University of Oxford) and risk prediction research focussing on risk prediction modeling for serious clinical conditions.

He holds a professorship position since 2017 at KU Leuven, where he is involved in research and teaching. He combines this with a Senior Clinical Researcher-post at the University of Oxford and a part-time appointment in an active GP practice in Leuven. He is a member of the National Working Group POCT and appointed expert advisor to the European Commission in the field of in vitro medical devices.

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