An erythrocyte sedimentation rate test or sed rate test is not a test used to dictate a particular disease, but it can help the physician to diagnose and monitor the status of an inflammatory disease or heart disease.
Sed test can be used in monitoring and evaluating an unexplained fever, arthritis, and other symptoms that affect the muscles.
Sed rate test cannot be used to pinpoint the cause of the inflammation in the body, hence it is usually accompanied by other blood tests as C-reactive protein test.
HOW THE TEST IS BEING DONE.
Blood is placed in a tall, thin tube and allowed to stand for one hour. When blood is stood for one hour, it settles to the bottom. Inflammation can cause the red blood cells to clump together. And these clumped blood settle to the bottom more quickly.
The sed rate test measures the distance red blood cells fall in a test tube within one hour.The farther it descend, the higher the inflammatory reaction of the immune system.
Sed rate test result is reported in distance in millimeters (mm) that red blood cell have descended in one hour.
Normal ranges are:
Any other variable different from the above should be scrutinized. Other disease factors such as advanced age, pregnancy, Anemia, kidney problems can also affect the result.