Inflammation Profile Blood Spot (Test Code 4008)

Inflammation is the complex biological response in which the body reacts to an infection, irritation or other injury; the key features being redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Inflammation is a protective mechanism designed to eliminate the harmful stimuli as well as begin the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the helpful initial response of the body to harmful stimuli which usually has a rapid onset, becomes severe quickly, and is resolved in a few days. Conversely, chronic inflammation which can persist for several weeks, months or even years, is an abnormal inflammatory response. This prolonged unchecked inflammatory process can result in the breakdown and destruction of proteins, cells, blood vessels, organs and joints, leading to a number of a systemic and organ specific diseases.  The Inflammation investigates not only markers of inflammation but also triggers and outcomes of this process.


Arachidonic Acid (AA): Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP), 17-ketosteroids, total hydroxycorticoids, ratios.

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The inflammatory response directs immune system components from the blood to the site of injury, after which a cascade of biochemical messengers propagates and matures the inflammatory response. This process involves the local vascular system, the immune system and various cells within the injured tissue. These inflammatory disorders are characterised by catabolism; a process in which there is an excessive breakdown of the body and not enough growth and repair. When inflammation is chronic or prolonged it causes catabolism; the destruction of proteins, cells, blood vessels, organs and joints.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is one of the most abundant acute phase proteins in humans. Its increased production by the liver is triggered by proinflammatory cytokines as a result of infection, tissue damage, inflammation and malignant neoplasia. CRP is therefore a biomarker of systemic inflammation.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are known for their role in cytokine and eicosanoid (prostaglandin) production; key modulators of the immune system and inflammatory processes. Arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the key EFAs modulating inflammation. AA is an omega 6 pro-inflammatory EFA whilst EPA is an omega 3 anti-inflammatory EFA. The AA: EPA ration is therefore a marker of inflammation and the balance of pro-inflammatory versus anti-inflammatory EFAs in the body. When the ratio is high it indicates increased levels of inflammation in the body and has been detected in insulin resistance, coronary artery disease and depression.

The 17-ketosteroid and 17-OH corticoid analytes are androgen and glucocorticoid urinary metabolites respectively which provide information on the balance of anabolism versus catabolism. Low levels of 17-ketosteroids represent a poor response to stress and in chronic illness indicate an unfavourable prognosis. An elevated level of 17-OH corticoid may indicate a cortisol excess, high level of stress or inflammation, hyperthyroidism or excessive hydrocortisone dosing that exceeds the capacity for metabolism.

Common Conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic inflammation – prostatitis, pancreatitis, glomerulonephritis, pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis




NutriPATH practices in the usual practitioner-referral system for pathology laboratories. Patients are highly recommended to seek the supervision and guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner for the interpretation of any lab results and associated information. NutriPATH can offer assistance in locating a suitable practitioner.



Arachidonic Acid (AA): Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)
high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP)
total hydroxycorticoids