Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

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In medicine, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, also called sed rate or ESR, is "Measurement of rate of settling of erythrocytes in anticoagulated blood."[1][2] High values may be due to high fibrinogen (Coagulation factor I) levels in the serum.

The c-reactive protein may be a more accurate predictor inflammatory disease than the erythrocyte sedimentation rate[3]

The test is nonspecific, but an elevated level is usually due to inflammation or infection. It has the great advantage of needing extremely simple equipment to perform, but more specific tests are often preferred to have more diagnostic significance. ESR can be useful, however, as a surrogate marker treating a known condition that elevates it; effectiveness of therapy can be inferred from a relative lowering of the measurement.


  1. Anonymous (2015), Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Sox HC, Liang MH (1986). "The erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Guidelines for rational use.". Ann Intern Med 104 (4): 515-23. PMID 3954279.
  3. Colombet I, Pouchot J, Kronz V, Hanras X, Capron L, Durieux P et al. (2010). "Agreement between erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein in hospital practice.". Am J Med 123 (9): 863.e7-13. DOI:10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.04.021. PMID 20800157. Research Blogging.