Lab Tests Diagnostic Medical Tests Medical Lab Tests
 Red blood cell count
 Red cell indices
 sedimentation rate
 Reticulocyte count
 Osmotic fragility
 Total hemoglobin
 Fetal hemoglobin
 Sickle cell test
 Unstable hemoglobin
 Heinz bodies
   Iron and total
 iron-binding capacity
 White blood cell count
   White blood cell
 Bleeding time
 Platelet count
 Capillary fragility
 Platelet aggregation
   Activated partial
 thromboplastin time
 Prothrombin time
 Activated clotting time
   One-stage factor
 coagulation system
   One-stage factor
 coagulation system
 Plasma thrombin time
 Plasma fibrinogen
 Fibrin split products
 Plasma plasminogen
 Protein C
 Euglobulin lysis time
 normalized ratio

Home :: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Test

Alternate Names : Sed Rate, Sedimentation Rate, ESR

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) measures the degree of erythrocyte settling in a blood sample during a specified time period. The ESR is a sensitive but nonspecific test that is frequently the earliest indicator of disease when other chemical or physical signs are normal. The ESR commonly increases significantly in widespread inflammatory disorders; elevations may be prolonged in localized inflammation and malignant disease.


  • To monitor inflammatory or malignant disease.
  • To aid detection and diagnosis of occult disease, such as tuberculosis, tissue necrosis, or connective tissue disease.

Patient preparation

  • Explain to the patient that this test is used to evaluate the condition of red blood cells.
  • Tell him that a blood sample will be taken. Explain who will perform the venipuncture and when.
  • Reassure him that drawing a blood sample will take less than 3 minutes.
  • Explain that he may feel slight discomfort from the tourniquet pressure and the needle puncture.
  • Inform the patient that food or fluids need not be restricted before the test.

Procedure and posttest care

  • Perform a venipuncture, and collect the sample in a 7-ml lavender-top, 4.5­ml black-top, or 4.5-ml blue-top tube. Check with the laboratory to determine it's preference.
  • If a hematoma develops at the venipuncture site, apply warm soaks.
  • Completely fill the collection tube, and invert it gently several times to thoroughly mix the sample and the anticoagulant.
  • Because prolonged standing decreases the ESR, examine the sample for dots or clumps and send it to the laboratory immediately. It must be tested within 2 hours.
  • Handle the sample gently to prevent hemolysis.

Reference values

The ESR normally ranges from 0 to 15 mm/hour in males, 0 to 20 mm/hour in females, and 0 to to mm/hour in children. Rates gradually increase with age.

Abnormal findings

The ESR rises in pregnancy, anemia, acute or chronic inflammation, tuberculosis, paraproteinemias (especially multiple myeloma and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia), rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and some malignant diseases.

Polycythemia, sickle cell anemia, hyperviscosity, and low plasma fibrinogen or globulin levels tend to depress the ESR.

Interfering factors

  • Failure to use the proper anticoagulant, to adequately mix the sample and the anticoagulant, or to send the sample to the laboratory immediately.
  • Hemolysis due to rough handling or excessive mixing of the sample insomnia and impotence.
  • Hemoconcentration due to prolonged tourniquet constriction.
  • Testing delayed more than 3 hours after sample collection (possible decrease).

Diagnostic Medical Tests
Medical Tests
Dagnostic Tests
Lab Tests

Contact us | Link to us | Lab tests
Resources - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
(c)Copyright All rights reserved.

The information provided on this web site should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site.