The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), also called a sedimentation rate or Biernacki Reaction, is a non-specific measure of inflammation, for example infections, inflammatory disease, and tissue destruction. The ESR is the distance that erythrocytes settle in anticoagulated whole blood, by gravity, in an hour. (It actually measures the amount of sedimentation in an hour rather than a rate). It is measured as the length of clear plasma at the top of the tube. The ESR measures several acute-phase proteins and other factors, and is dependent on the red cells ability to aggregate and form rouleaux, which is in turn dependent on the red cell number, size and shape, electrostatic charges, and plasma viscosity. ESR is commonly used as a screening test, but should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients for disease. The test is useful and indicated for the diagnosis and monitoring of temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. There are several different methods with different reference ranges; the most common are the Westergren and Wintrobe methods. The Wintrobe method is more sensitive in the normal to slightly elevated range, whereas the Westergren is more sensitive in the elevated range. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), also called a sedimentation rate or Biernacki Reaction, is a non-specific measure of inflammation. It is commonly used as a screening test.
Also known as: ESR Westergren Blood, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Westergren, Sedimentation Test, Sed Rate Test.