Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) is a blood test to detect the presence of inflammation in the body. It also helps diagnose and monitor inflammatory activities such as temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- For adults (Westergren method):
- Men under 50 years old: 0 to 15 mm/hr
- Men over 50 years old: 0 to 20 mm/hr
- Women under 50 years old: 0 to 20 mm/hr
- Women over 50 years old: 0 to 30 mm/hr
- For children (Westergren method):
- Newborn: 0 to 2 mm/hr
- Newborn to puberty: 3 to 13 mm/hr
(Note: mm/hr = millimeters per hour)
The possible meanings of the results:
- A single elevated ESR, without any symptoms of a specific disease, does not provide enough information to make a medical decision. It might be caused by anemia, infection, pregnancy, or aging.
- A very high ESR does not necessarily indicate the presence of inflammation either. A severe infection, a multiple myeloma, or Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia cause a high ESR too.
- When monitoring a condition over time, rising ESRs, might be a result of increasing inflammation, or a poor response to a therapy; normal or decreasing ESRs may indicate an appropriate response to treatment.
To make a more specific medical decision, other clinical data are needed.
Keywords: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Sed Rate, Sedimentation Rate, Westergren Sedimentation Rate