Sedimentation Rate-Westergren

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Sedimentation Rate-Westergren
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Overview

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate) is the rate at which red blood cells sediment in a period of one hour. It is a common hematology test, and is a non-specific measure of inflammation. To perform the test, anticoagulated blood is traditionally placed in an upright tube, known as a Westergren tube, and the rate at which the red blood cells fall is measured and reported in mm at the end of one hour.

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate) is the rate at which red blood cells sediment in a period of one hour. It is a common hematology test and is a non-specific measure of inflammation. To perform the test, anticoagulated blood is traditionally placed in an upright tube, known as a Westergren tube, and the rate at which the red blood cells fall is measured and reported in mm at the end of one hour.

ESR can sometimes be useful in diagnosing diseases, such as multiple myeloma, temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, various auto-immune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic kidney diseases. In many of these cases, the ESR may exceed 100 mm/hour.

In markedly increased ESR of over 100 mm/h, infection is the most common cause (33% of cases in an American study), followed by cancer (17%), renal disease (17%) and noninfectious inflammatory disorders (14%). Yet, in pneumonia, the ESR stays under 100.

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