ESR or Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is a basic blood test carried out in pathology laboratory for many years to spot inflammation or any type of infection in the body. It is regularly used the test as it is cost effective for all patients. The test is nonspecific because it does not pinpoint exactly in which part of the body inflammation is present or the underlying cause of inflammation. For that reason doctor advise this test in conjunction with some other tests to verify or eliminate his medical diagnosis.
Other names: ESR, SED rate sedimentation rate; Westergren sedimentation rate.
ESR test is often ordered by the physician in autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, cancer, tuberculosis, chronic fever, and numerous other infections in the body.
Nevertheless, ESR does not suggest any of this particular disease; however only provides a hint to the physician if he is presuming any inflammation in the body.
Frequently ESR evaluation is used to track the course of disease and reaction to the medications which are advised by the physician. For instance in tuberculosis of lungs, blood ESR has frequently kept an eye on to observe the reaction of the drug. Throughout the 6 to 9 months of antituberculosis treatment, ESR gradually returns to its normal value. It suggests that the infection remains in control and the condition is dealt with.
Normal ESR Level
Blood ESR is estimated in mm/hr or millimeter per hour. It is the calibration of clear fluid on top of the blood which is calmed down at the bottom of the tube after one hour. Abnormal proteins in the blood cause the red blood cells to clump together and settle at the bottom. In adults, the normal range of ESR is in between 15 to 20 mm/hr. In kids, the variety of normal ESR is considered to be between 3 to13 mm/hr. Women have a little high ESR worth.
Meaning of High ESR Count Levels in Blood Test
Reasonably high ESR might recommend an inflammation, but there are several other causes which may also have a little high ESR than normal such as in anemia, pregnancy, and menstruation and even after aging. However, ESR worth as high as 80 to100 and above has definitely been considered pathological, and it suggests inflammation with certainty. This might show diseases such as rheumatic arthritis, rheumatic fever, temporal arthritis, multiple myeloma, tuberculosis, cancer, and several other inflammatory diseases and infections.
ESR is monitored repeatedly if it is high, to start with to know whether the inflammation process is increasing or understanding the therapeutic response of medicines recommended by the doctor. In women, there is a momentary elevation of ESR throughout pregnancy and menses.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate often remains high after the subsidence of all clinical symptoms of the disease. This suggests the disease procedure is still active at the subclinical level, for example as in the case of a rheumatic disease.
Low ESR Level in Blood Test Meaning
Low ESR is observed in specific conditions where the standard sedimentation rate of blood is reduced. It is seen in conditions such as:
- Polycythemia vera where the red blood cell count is greater than its normal worth.
- Congestive cardiac failure.
- Sickle cell anemia (a problem in red blood cells).
- Cancer of the kidney.
- Leukocytosis where the leukocyte count is greater than normal.
Drugs That Affect to ESR Level in Your Blood
Specific drugs may also affect the value of ESR. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate might be higher if the patient is taking the following drugs:
- Contraceptive pill
- Vitamin A.
- Procaine penicillin.
- Specific drugs can decrease ESR such as cortisone, aspirin, and quinine.
When To Get Checked?
When your health professional thinks that you may have a condition triggering inflammation; when you have signs and symptoms connected with temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, or rheumatoid arthritis such as headaches, neck or shoulder pain, pelvic pain, anemia, poor hunger, inexplicable weight loss, and joint stiffness
How Is the Test Used?
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate) is a fairly basic, affordable, non-specific test that has been used for many years to help identify inflammation associated with conditions such as infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases.
ESR is said to be a non-specific test because a raised outcome typically suggests the existence of inflammation however does not inform the health practitioner exactly where the inflammation remains in the body or what is triggering it. An ESR can be impacted by other conditions besides inflammation. For this factor, the ESR is usually utilized in combination with other tests, such as C-reactive protein.
ESR is used to help diagnose particular inflammatory diseases, including temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, and polymyalgia rheumatica. (For more on these, check out the post on Vasculitis.) A considerably elevated ESR is one of the main test results utilized to support the diagnosis.
This test might likewise be used to keep track of disease activity and reaction to treatment in both of the above diseases in addition to some others, such as lupus.
How Long Will It Take for My ESR Result?
That depends on the laboratory performing the test. Results might be readily available the exact same day or, if the sample is sent out to a reference lab, it may take a day or 2 for your outcomes.
Traditional ESR tests read by a service technician one hour after the test is begun. Newer approaches can be checked out at 20-30 minutes, and there are now automated rapid tests offered that use a centrifugal technique and can be read 5 minutes after setup. This new method is being used more extensively to reduce waiting times for patients, especially in emergency situation departments.
If you are taking any drugs, you ought to inform your doctor so that it ends up being easy for him to analyze the ESR report.