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There are countless blood tests that we are often familiar with. And is that most people have had a blood sample drawn to determine the concentration in fluid of substances such as cholesterol, blood glucose and triglycerides. But do you know what erythrocyte sedimentation is? Have you ever had this test done?

Erythrocyte sedimentation or erythrocyte sedimentation rate is an analysis that you have surely observed many times in your analysis, but you have not given it the greatest importance. This test allows you to know the speed with which the red blood cells settle inside a test tube during a certain time.

The results of an ESR can be helpful in diagnosing a number of conditions. If you want to know more about the sedimentation rate, what it is for and what are the normal values ​​of this test, keep reading this eHealth article carefully.

What is erythrocyte sedimentation and what is it for?

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR rate measures the rate at which red blood cells descend to the bottom of a test tube over 1 to 2 hours. The faster the fall of blood cells, the greater the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. What is this measurement for? This test allows to know indirectly the existence of inflammatory, infectious, carcinogenic and autoimmune processes in the human body.

Erythrocyte sedimentation is not considered a diagnostic test, but rather a screening test, because if the result is high, the specialist must order a series of complementary tests to determine what the problem is, where it is, and offer the patient an exact diagnosis.

Why is ESR vascular sedimentation rate requested?

Most doctors request this analysis to find out what causes vague symptoms that a patient presents and that are not altogether associated with a certain disease. This test is also used to evaluate the improvement in inflammatory diseases, since a decrease in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate undoubtedly indicates that the body is fighting the condition that affects it correctly.

Among the main symptoms that invite you to perform an erythrocyte sedimentation we find:

  • Muscle pains.
  • Fever with no apparent cause.
  • Arthritis .
  • Symptoms that are difficult for the patient to explain.

The test can also be done to supplement the diagnosis of the following complications:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erimatous.
  • Some types of arthritis.
  • Infectious diseases.
  • Death of tissue.
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Normal values ​​of the ERS rate

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is measured in millimeters per hour (mm / h) and the measurement range may vary slightly depending on the parameters of the clinical laboratory where the blood was taken. In general, normal values ​​for erythrocyte sedimentation are as follows:

  • Women under 50 years: less than 20 mm / h.
  • Women over 50 years: less than 30 mm / h.
  • Men under 50 years: less than 15 mm / h.
  • Men over 50 years: less than 20 mm / h.
  • Newborns: 0 to 2 mm / h.
  • Neonates and children up to 10 years: 3 to 13 mm / h.
  • Pregnant women: 0.

Causes of high erythrocyte sedimentation

An altered result of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate should not be interpreted as something serious, since this value is often increased by conditions as subtle as the formation of a hematoma in some part of the skin. However, it is vital that the medical specialist review the results and compare them with other analyzes, because only in this way can a real diagnosis be obtained, remember that the ERS rate is a complementary test.

Therefore, abnormal erythrocyte sedimentation values (high or low)   are associated with many pathologies and only a doctor is able to identify the cause of this disorder. Among the conditions associated with a high ERS value we find:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Rheumatic fever.
  • Tuberculosis .
  • Lymphomas, multiple myeloma.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Anemia.
  • Skin infections
  • Menstrual problems
  • Vasculitis
  • Renal disease.
  • Infections
  • Disorders in the functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Neoplasms
  • Tumors Myocardial infarction.
  • Syphilis .

How is the analysis done?

Assessing the ERS rate is very simple. This analysis is carried out like any other analysis, so the bi-analytic specialist will extract a small sample of blood from a vein in the arm with the help of an injector. During the test, no major pain is experienced, only the discomfort of the needle stick of the syringe.

In general, the blood sample is examined the same day, which is why the result can be known in the afternoon if the analysis was performed in the morning. However, this aspect may vary depending on the delivery times established by the clinical laboratory. The performance of this test in infants is usually carried out through a slight puncture in the heel.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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