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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.
Procedure and posttest care
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.
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.
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