ESR, SED rate sedimentation rate; Westergren sedimentation rate
An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a type of blood test that measures how quickly erythrocytes (red blood cells) settle at the bottom of a test tube that contains a blood sample. Normally, red blood cells settle relatively slowly. A faster-than-normal rate may indicate inflammation in the body. Inflammation is part of your immune response system. It can be a reaction to an infection or injury. Inflammation may also be a sign of a chronic disease, an immune disorder, or other medical condition.
The ESR test requires little preparation.
However, you should tell your doctor if you?re taking any medication therapy. They may ask you to temporarily stop taking it before the test. Certain medications may affect ESR test results.
You don't need any special preparations for this test.
ESR test results are measured in millimeters per hour (mm/hr).
The following are considered normal ESR test results:
Women under age 50 should have an ESR between 0 and 20 mm/hr. Men under age 50 should have an ESR between 0 and 15 mm/hr. Women over age 50 should have an ESR between 0 and 30 mm/hr. Men over age 50 should have an ESR between 0 and 20 mm/hr. Children should have an ESR between 0 and 10 mm/hr. The higher the number, the higher the likelihood of inflammation.
If your ESR is high, it may be related to an inflammatory condition, such as:
Infection Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatic fever Vascular disease Inflammatory bowel disease Heart disease Kidney disease Certain cancers Sometimes the ESR can be slower than normal. A slow ESR may indicate a blood disorder, such as:
Polycythemia Sickle cell anemia Leukocytosis, an abnormal increase in white blood cells If your results are not in the normal range, it doesn?t necessarily mean you have a medical condition that requires treatment. A moderate ESR may indicate pregnancy, menstruation, or anemia, rather than an inflammatory disease. Certain medicines and supplements can also affect your results. These include oral contraceptives, aspirin, cortisone, and vitamin A. Be sure to tell your health care provider about any drugs or supplements you are taking.
An ESR test can help determine if you have a condition that causes inflammation. These include arthritis, vasculitis, or inflammatory bowel disease. An ESR may also be used to monitor an existing condition.
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