Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) – Reference Range

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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.


Normal Results:

  • 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

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