1 What is a Sed Rate (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)?

A blood test that can reveal inflammatory activity in your body is called sed rate is also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

This test may help your doctor monitor the progress or diagnose an inflammatory disease.

Red blood cells or erythrocytes will gradually settle to the bottom when your blood is placed in a tall and thin tube.

Inflammation can cause the cells to clump together and they will settle at the bottom because these clumps of cells are denser than individual cells.

The greater the inflammatory response of your immune system the farther the red blood cells have descended.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to undergo an erythrocyte sedimentation rate test.

These tests are used more frequently in the past and the test is used if your doctor suspects you have:

This test can monitor the effect of the treatment and can help in determining the severity of your inflammatory response.

This is also accompanied by other blood tests such as C-reactive protein (CRP) test because it cannot pinpoint the problem that is causing the inflammation in your body.

3 Potential Risks

Along with undergoing an erythrocyte sedimentation rate test comes potential risks.

Having your blood drawn has minimal complications such as:

  • excessive bleeding
  • fainting
  • inflammation of the vein
  • hematoma or bruising
  • lightheadedness
  • infection
  • mild to moderate pain when the needle pricks your skin
  • throbbing at the puncture site

4 Preparing for your Procedure

You do not need to fast or have any restrictions to prepare for the erythrocyte sedimentation rate because this is a simple blood test.

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your erythrocyte sedimentation rate test.

A needle will be used to draw blood from a vein in your arm by a nurse.

The area on your arm may be tender but you will be able to resume normal activities after a few hours.

6 Procedure Results

Understanding the results of your erythrocyte sedimentation rate test will be made possible by your doctor.

Your doctor will record the test in the distance in millimeters (mm) red blood cells have descended in one hour. The normal range would be 0-29 mm/hr for women and 0-22 mm/hr for men.

Your doctor will talk to you about your sed rate results along with the symptoms that you are experiencing and the results of the diagnostic tests.

There are certain conditions that can affect the properties of blood and may be obscured by the influence of other conditions.

Some of the complicating factors include:

Your doctor will consider the possible complicating factors while talking to you about your sed rate test results.