Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)

Last updated 30.03.12

 

Definition

-  Serum blood test to aid in recognition of inflammation

 

Features

-  Venous blood sample

-  Typically requested with CRP & FBE

-  Low sensitivity & specificity

 

Procedure

-  Venepuncture: black tube

-  Automated test

-  Blood allowed to settle for 1 hour

-  ESR = height of clear plasma above RBC layer

 

Indication

-  Non-specific measure of inflammation

-  Used to monitor disease activity in

-  TB, RA, Hodgkins & non-Hodgkins, MM, macroglobulinaemia

-  Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Temporal Arteritis

 

Results

-  Normal: 0-10 mm/hr

-  Increases with age, used less in elderly

-  Slightly increased in women

-  Newborn 0-2 mm/hr

-  Neonate – adolescent 3-13 mm/hr

-  Elevation: >10 mm/hr

-  Inflammation

-   Polymyalgia Rheumatica

-   > 50: Temporal Arteritis

-  Elderly, pregnancy, anaemia

-  Increased serum

-  Cold agglutins, lipids, fibrinogen, globulins, pararproteins

-  Often with rouleaux formation

-  Hypoalbuminaemia

-  Decreased

-  Polycythemia

-  Spherocytosis

-  Microcytosis

-  Cryoglobulins

-  Low serum fibrinogen

-  Sickle cell aneamia

-  CCF

 

 

 

 

References