Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: normal. What does erythrocyte sedimentation rate mean?

In almost all diseases, in the prenatal period, as well as for preventive purposes, a blood test is prescribed (general analysis). Take the material from the finger. In the course of the study, the state of the shaped elements is revealed. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the blood is also analyzed. Next, we consider this indicator in more detail.erythrocyte sedimentation rate

General information

OAK in combination with leukocyte formula is very widely used as one of the most important diagnostic methods for most pathologies. Changes in peripheral blood are non-specific. However, they reflect the processes occurring throughout the body. The analysis of leukocyte formula has a great diagnostic value in identifying inflammatory, infectious, hematological diseases.The study also allows to assess the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment. At the same time, being non-specific, changes in the leukocyte formula may have a similar nature against the background of different pathologies. Different indicators may also be detected in different patients with the same disease. Leukocyte formula differs by age. This must be taken into account when evaluating changes. In the examination of children, this is especially important.erythrocyte sedimentation rate normal

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): indications

This study is assigned to:

  • Inflammatory pathologies.
  • Infectious lesions.
  • Tumors.
  • As a screening study during preventive examinations.

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is considered as a test that does not possess specificity for any particular disease. It is used in addition to the general analysis.

Preparation for the study

The test for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, as well as the general analysis, is carried out on an empty stomach. There should be at least eight hours between the study and the last meal. 1-2 days before the analysis, it is recommended to exclude alcohol, fried and fatty foods from the diet. An hour before the blood sampling from smoking should refrain.It also excludes all factors that may in any way affect the results of the analysis. These include, in particular, physical activity (climbing stairs, brisk walking, exercising, jogging) and emotional stress. Immediately before blood collection, you should calm down and rest for 10-15 minutes. If you are taking any medications, you must inform the specialist. It is not recommended to donate blood after rectal examination, radiography, physiotherapy.erythrocyte sedimentation rate

Important information

Different laboratories can use different units of measurement and research methods. In order to carry out the most accurate assessment of the results, it is recommended to take the analysis at the same time, in one institution. In this case, the comparison will be more comparable.


What does "erythrocyte sedimentation rate" mean? This is an indicator of non-specific inflammation. ESR reflects the rate of blood separation in a flask with an anticoagulant into two layers. At the top is a transparent plasma. Erythrocytes deposited remain in the lower layer.The assessment is carried out on the height of the formed plasma layer within an hour. Red blood cells have a greater specific mass. In this regard, in vitro with an anticoagulant present in it, they sink to the bottom under the influence of gravity. This process is divided into three phases. During each stage, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is different. First, they are lowered by individual cells. In the second phase, they form "coin columns" - aggregates. At this stage, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate increases. In the third phase, quite a few units are formed. In this case, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (the norm will be indicated below) begins to decrease. After a while, the process gradually ends.what does erythrocyte sedimentation rate mean

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: normal

The index is influenced by many pathological and physiological factors. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate in women, for example, is slightly higher than in men. Increased rates are noted in the prenatal period. This is due to the fact that the protein composition changes on the background of pregnancy. The normal value for women is no more than 15 mm / h, for men - 10 mm / h.

Factors affecting the indicator

A decrease in the number of erythrocytes (anemia) increases their sedimentation rate. And vice versa. During the day values ​​may fluctuate. In the daytime the maximum level is noted. The main factor influencing the formation of "coin columns" is plasma protein composition. Ostrophase compounds are adsorbed on the surface of erythrocytes, reduce their charge and reduce the repulsion from each other. This contributes to the formation of "columns" and faster lowering of elements to the bottom. With an increase in acute phase proteins, for example, C-reactive compounds, alpha-1-antitrypsin, haptoglobin, against the background of acute inflammation, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate increases. In a chronic process, a change in the index towards the maximum is associated with an increase in the content of immunoglobulins and fibrinogen. In acute inflammation and infectious lesion, abnormalities are observed a day after the increase in red blood cell concentration and temperature.erythrocyte sedimentation rate in women

Research methods

The Westergren method differs from another common method of determining the sedimentation rate in the Panchenkov instrument by the scale of the results and the properties of the test tubes used.The indicators that are obtained using these methods coincide in the range of values ​​for a healthy organism and have the same reference values. However, the Westergren method is more sensitive. In this regard, the results obtained with its use in the field of elevated indicators are higher than those obtained using the Panchenkov method.

Increase value

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate may increase under the following physiological conditions:

  • In old age.
  • When pregnancy.
  • During menstruation.
  • In the postpartum period.

Pathological factors contributing to an increase in ESR include:

  • Intoxication.
  • Inflammatory processes.
  • Chronic and acute infectious lesions (syphilis, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, and others).
  • Fractures and other bone injuries.
  • Myocardial infarction.
  • Anemia and conditions after blood loss.
  • Autoimmune pathology.
  • Kidney disease (nephrotic syndrome, nephritis in a chronic course).
  • Tumors of malignant nature.
  • Postoperative and post-shock conditions.
  • Papaproteinemia (Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, multiple myeloma).
  • Taking medication (glucocorticoid, estrogen).
  • Hyperfibrinogenemia.erythrocyte sedimentation rate


The erythrocyte sedimentation rate decreases in the following cases:

  • Fasting, reducing muscle mass.
  • During pregnancy (especially in the first and second trimesters).
  • Taking corticosteroids.
  • Observe a vegetarian diet.
  • Myodystrophy.
  • Hyperhydration.


The use of the latest hematology analyzers allows specialists to obtain highly informative and accurate results. Any changes or deviations from the norm can be interpreted as pathological conditions and require thorough diagnosis.

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