Sedimentation Rate Testing
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What is a Sedimentation Rate Test?
A Sedimentation Rate test measures a patient's blood by determining how quickly red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, settle in a test tube in 60 minutes. A high sedimentation rate is identified by a large number of red blood cells falling to the bottom of the test tube during that time. When inflammation is present in a patient's body, their red blood cells bind together and descend more quickly than normal, and is typically brought about by an abnormal condition, which includes infection, autoimmune disease, or cancer.
Who May Need a Sedimentation Rate Test?
Sedimentation Rate tests are often part of a series of tests prescribed by a physician, either as a routine workup, or to determine the cause of symptoms in a patient - though they are also useful as a single test. The most common reason for a sedimentation rate test is to find out if inflammation or infection is present in a patient. The test can also be used to determine if treatments for various conditions resulting in an abnormal sedimentation rate are being effective, as well as to check on a patient's known condition in order to see if it has worsened or is improving.
What Should I Expect from My Sedimentation Rate Test?
Your Sedimentation Rate test begins by having a blood sample taken, which is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. There is no preparation required for this test. However, if you have any concerns about the test, speak with your physician or the health professional performing the test. After receiving your results on the test, speak with your physician about how they concern you and your health specifically. Though many laboratories use a common reference range for sedimentation rate test results, your doctor may consider other factors upon receiving your results, such as your age or general health status.
What is a sedimentation rate test?
A sedimentation rate test determines how fast your red blood cells settle (sediment) in a spinning tube (centrifuge). This test can be useful to detect any abnormal inflammation in your body.
What does the sedimentation rate test for?
Sedimentation rate testing is a marker for inflammation in the body. A high sedimentation rate means that your red blood cells are carrying more protein than normal and stick together, making them fall faster at the bottom of the tube. An elevated Sedimentation rate can be the result of:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Thyroid or kidney failure
- Some cancers
Some diseases like heart failure can cause low sedimentation rates, which is also problematic and should be further analyzed.
However, the Sedimentation rate is not specific for a certain disease, so this test should be done along with other tests (like CBC, CMP or ANA test) for a comprehensive look at your health status.
Who should get their blood sedimentation rate tested?
An ESR test may be appropriate for people who have unexplained symptoms like a fever and pain in the muscles and joints or other problems without clear causes. When this happens, a sedimentation rate test can be combined with other tests to evaluate your overall health and look for signs of specific diseases.
If you have been treated for any inflammatory condition or infection, your doctor may recommend a sedimentation rate test to monitor the effects of that treatment.
Do I need to visit a doctor?
Nope. You don't need a doctor's visit to get a test with us.
How do I get my results?
You'll get your results via email as soon as they are available. We will notify you via SMS as well. You can also see them at any time in the future right in your dashboard where you can easily share them with your professional and compare them side by side with future tests.
Does my lab prescription expire?
We're the only lab that honors your lab order forever.