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ESR is an indirect measure of the degree of inflammation present in the body. It measures the rate of fall (sedimentation) of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in a tall, thin tube of blood.
Results are reported as how many millimetres of clear plasma are present at the top of the column after one hour. Normally, red cells fall slowly, leaving little clear plasma.
Increased blood levels of certain proteins (such as fibrinogen or immunoglobulins, which are increased in inflammation) cause the red blood cells to fall more rapidly, increasing the ESR.
Sed Rate, Sedimentation Rate, Westergren Sedimentation Rate, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate and ESR.
Acute Inflammation, Chronic Inflammation, Cancers, Autoimmune Diseases, Temporal Arteritis and Polymyalgia Rheumatic.
To detect the presence of inflammation caused by one or more conditions such as infections, tumors or autoimmune diseases; to help diagnose and monitor specific conditions such as temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, or rheumatoid arthritis.
When your health practitioner thinks that you might have a condition causing inflammation; when you have signs and symptoms associated with temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, or rheumatoid arthritis such as headaches, neck or shoulder pain, pelvic pain, anemia, poor appetite, unexplained weight loss, and joint stiffness
An ESR may be ordered when a condition or disease is suspected of causing inflammation somewhere in the body. There are numerous inflammatory conditions that may be detected using this test. For example, it may be ordered when arthritis is suspected of causing inflammation and pain in the joints or when digestive symptoms are suspected to be caused by inflammatory bowel disease.
A health practitioner may order an ESR when an individual has symptoms that suggest polymyalgia rheumatica, systemic vasculitis, or temporal arteritis, such as headaches, neck or shoulder pain, pelvic pain, anemia, poor appetite, unexplained weight loss, and joint stiffness.
The ESR may also be ordered at regular intervals to assist in monitoring the course of these diseases. Before doing an extensive workup looking for disease, a health practitioner may want to repeat the ESR.