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What is a sedimentation rate?

A sedimentation rate is common blood test that is used to detect and monitor inflammation in the body. The sedimentation rate is also called the erythrocyte sedimentation rate because it is a measure of the red blood cells (erythrocytes) sedimenting in a tube over a given period of time. Sedimentation rate is often abbreviated as "sed rate" or ESR. Although this test measures a general state of inflammation, it is not specific to what causes the inflammation. It is elevated in inflammatory diseases, including arthritis as well as in autoimmune diseases such as lupus. It can also be elevated due to other conditions such as certain cancers and Grave's disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: amullen13, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

I've had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since I was 3 years old and now I'm 46. My sedimentation rate for the past year has been over 130, I'm in severe pain and I'm always tired.

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Comment from: gl, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had pain behind my right eye and pain in the back of the right ear. I went to the ophthalmologist and he prescribed a blood test for templar arthritis. My result of sedimentation was 15, the results of reactive protein was 0.7. I have not heard from the doctor and hope everything is ok.

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Comment from: esr in blood, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 20

I have received blood test report wherein ESR for 1st hour is 42 mm, 2nd hour 80 mm. I am diabetic, and since 21 days I am running cold and fever. Since last year I feel twisting and indigestion in abdomen.

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