C-reactive protein (CRP) is an established marker for non-specific acute phase response to most forms of inflammation, which may be caused by infection or tissue damage, such as occurs in surgery. CRP is produced in the liver. In surgical patients, tissue damage is the main stimulus for CRP synthesis, and levels are independent of diurnal rhythm, diet or medication. These properties underscore the suitability of CRP as a marker for postoperative inflammation. CRP is non-specific to location of tissue damage or cause, indicating additional examinations are necessary in patients with elevated CRP levels in the postoperative phase. The aim of this study was to review the literature concerning biochemical and clinical aspects of CRP in relation to major abdominal surgery.