Overview of Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
What is Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate?
Preparation for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
- No special preparation required
Why Get Tested for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate?
To detect any inflammation in the body which may be caused due to conditions such as infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases
To monitor the progress of inflammatory diseases
To evaluate the response to treatment of inflammatory diseases
Understand more about Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
The ESR test measures the rate at which red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle (sediment) at the bottom of a tube that contains a blood sample in one hour. The test result is expressed in millimeters per hour (mm/hr).
In the presence of inflammation, certain proteins mainly fibrinogen increase in blood. This high proportion of fibrinogen in the blood causes red blood cells to form a stack (rouleaux formation) which settle quickly due to their increased density.
The ESR test is a non-specific measure of inflammation. An ESR can be affected by conditions other than inflammation also. Although a high ESR can detect the presence of inflammation but it cannot provide any information regarding the cause and site of inflammation. Hence, an ESR test is done along with other tests to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.
What Results of Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate mean?
High ESR can be seen in:
Inflammatory disease such as Arthritis (Inflammation of joints), vasculitis (Inflammation of blood vessels)
Infection, such as pneumonia, pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, skin infection, bone infection, heart valve infection
Autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic kidney disease
Cancer, such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma
Low ESR can be seen in:
Congestive heart failure
Sickle cell disease
Severe liver disease
Patient Concerns about Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
Frequently Asked Questions about Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate