Three rapid assay techniques (latex agglutination, laser nephelometry, and EMIT enzyme immunoassay) have been evaluated for serial monitoring of the serum C reactive protein (CRP) concentration in immunosuppressed patients with fever. Radial immunodiffusion assay was used as a reference method. Latex agglutination reliably distinguished between normal and raised serum CRP concentrations. Enzyme immunoassay also provided a result within minutes, showed particularly close correlation (r = 0.967) with the reference method, and was free from interference by lipaemic or icteric sera. In 27% of 55 episodes of fever studied serially in immunosuppressed patients, the enzyme immunoassay provided clinically useful information by indicating incomplete resolution of infection despite resolution of fever.
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