Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Test is that test where the blood sample is collected or taken from the body and then sent to the lab to know the rate at which RBC sediments in an hour. Often the doctors prescribe blood tests to find the level of hemoglobin in the body, the glucose and white blood cells. If there is any medical condition, it will be found out. Through the blood test, the doctor also tries and find how well an organ performs. Through the ESR Blood Test, it is found how rapidly red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube. Many things can be found through the test result. If there is any sort of infection or inflammation in the body, it will lead the Red Blood Cells to settle faster at the bottom as there may be more protein in the body and bloodstream. If ESR is higher, RBC will settle rapidly.
The reason for doing the test
ESR in blood test is the best way to find if there is an infection or inflammation in the body. If a child shows any sign or symptom of inflammation in the body, the test will be prescribed. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Test is done in order to follow activity level of arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease or any other inflammatory disease. If you are already undergoing the treatment for disease, the test will let you know how far the treatment is effective. The test is carried out usually by hematology labs to detect any sort of inflammatory disease. The test result is depicted quite automatically whereby the anticoagulated blood sample is poured on the test tube upright. The rate of RBC sedimentation is measured in mm/h. This is what is erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
The principal of sedimentation rate
There are mainly two sedimentation factors. The ESR of any person depends on the following factors:
- fibrinogen supporting sedimentation
- any negative changes to RBC which opposes this settling or sedimentation
ESR is the most accurate and worthwhile determinant to find inflammatory reaction. If there is more fibrinogen in the blood, it will increase inflammation. This ultimately leads to stickiness of Red Blood Cells and they get heavier to settle much faster below. It means more of ESR count. Increased stickiness of RBC means more of Rouleaux formation.
This test plays an important role in detecting so many diseases. It gets increased during pregnancy or rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, ESR rate reduces in hereditary spherocytosis, polycythemia, anemia and heart failure.
The procedure of the test
It is not complicated to carry out the test. Not much preparation is needed. A small amount of blood will be taken out from your veins. The health professional cleans the skin, uses elastic band and ties that up to the vein. This swells the vein with blood and then a needle is inserted to take the blood. The blood is pulled out into the syringe and then the band is removed from the vein. It hardly takes a few minutes to complete the test procedure.
When do you need an ESR test?
The medical professional immediately prescribes the test when there is high fever, sudden weight loss, anemia, joint disease, etc.
Along with an ESR test, the doctor can also prescribe you lipid profile test in order to find an abnormality in cholesterol level or lipid level in the blood.