The red cell sedimentation rate is a laboratory test used to confirm the presence of inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. We tell you how it is done and when it can be prescribed.
Clinical laboratory tests are of great importance in medical practice. Sometimes these are the only way to confirm the presence of a disease. One of the most frequently performed tests is the red cell sedimentation rate.
Also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate , ESR or ESR , it is a test that measures how quickly red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube. A higher or lower sedimentation rate than usual indicates the presence of different pathologies.
Under normal conditions, erythrocytes or red blood cells have a negative charge, which causes them to repel each other, with a sedimentation rate of 10 millimeters (mm) per hour. However, it may vary depending on the subject of study and their lifestyle.
Reasons why SGBV should be performed
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is a test that guides the specialist and can indicate the existence of diseases. In this sense, it can be useful in the presence of any of the following situations:
- Fever of unknown origin.
- Some types of arthritis.
- Symptoms that affect the muscles.
However, the doctor must analyze the clinic presented by the patient together with the results of the laboratory tests in order to give an accurate diagnosis. On the other hand, ESR can be used as an important diagnostic criterion for two diseases: polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis, both of which are very rare and appear in patients over 50 years of age.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disease that affects the proximal muscles of the extremities and torso, causing pain and limiting movement. While temporal arteritis causes headache, decreased visual acuity, fever, jaw claudication and anemia.