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Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

Category Haematology
Test background

The ESR is a measurement of the rate of fall of red blood cells. The rate at which red cells fall, or sediment, is influenced by the extent to which they form rouleaux – red blood cells clumped together in distinctive ‘stacks’ like coins. Rouleaux formation of red cells means that the red cells fall at a greater rate than individual red cells. The formation of rouleaux is accelerated by the presence of acute phase proteins, which can occur in a wide variety of infective and inflammatory conditions.

Clinical Indications

Diagnosis of multiple myeloma, temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, various autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, TB, endocarditis and chronic kidney diseases Differential diagnosis of Kawasaki's disease Monitoring therapeutic response in temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, rheumatoid arthritis and some lymphomas

Reference range

0-17mm/hr for Males and 0-23mm/hr for Females

Sample & container required 4 mL EDTA (lavender top) Please send separate tubes for FBC, ESR and HBA1C
Sample volume 1 mL
Turnaround time 4 hours