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Published On: Fri, Jul 20th, 2018

Important facts you need to learn about ESR blood test and its purpose

The ESR blood test or erythrocyte sedimentation rate blood test helps to detect sedimentation rate to find out the degree of inflammation resulting from infectious disease or cancer. There can be various kinds of infectious diseases that one may suffer or several kinds of autoimmune disease. When you compare it to other types of blood tests, it is affordable but is an alternative test. It may be that the test fails to locate the exact spot of inflammation or the causes of it. But, still, it is a reliable test and very valuable from the point of finding the degree of inflammation. The doctor prescribes this test to find about the progression of inflammatory disease in human body.

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Key facts on EST Test

  • Erythrocytes are developed or fully grown red blood cells having hemoglobin and are responsible for carrying oxygen to various organs of the body. Erythrocyte sedimentation refers to the sedimentation of erythrocyte as suggested by the term itself.
  • The test starts with the drawing of blood from the patient’s body. It is drawn from the veins of the arms. This blood is then left inside the tube in an upright position
  • With the passage of time, RBC or Red Blood Cells descend to the bottom all by itself. Nothing much needs to be done in the process. ESR value refers to the rate at which the RBC descends to the bottom. Well, the rate at which RBC descends to the bottom in an hour is measured in millimeter per hour. In short, the ESR value is the distance which is covered by RBC in an hour’s time.
  • If there is inflammation in any region of the body, there will be more of fibrinogen in the blood. So, when there is more fibrinogen in the blood, RBC gets attached or sticks against one another. Thus, when there is inflammation, RBC descends much faster.
  • The normal ESR value for males above 50 years of age is below 20, and for those under 50 years of age, the normal range is below 15
  • Women who are above 50 years of age normally have ESR below 30 and the ones below 50 years of age have ESR value below 20.

What does higher ESR value suggest?

When the ESR value is more, it indicates bodily inflammation or the occurrence of any other conditions like diabetes, cardiac diseases, anemia, etc. If the level is more, the doctor prescribes lipid profile test to check the level of cholesterol. When the level is too high, it suggests severe or serious infection. It suggests cancerous disease affecting the cells of immune system of the person or a bone marrow tumor, inflammation of temporal artery, etc.

ESR test was conducted previously when no such method for evaluating bodily inflammation was available. The patient may also have any condition other than what is mentioned above. There can be fluctuation of ESR value from the normal range even if one is pregnant. The doctor prescribes multiple tests along with this.

Author: Shalini Shalini

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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