Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Update
The ESR is a non-specific test, but is useful as a screening test. It is of benefit in differentiating among certain disease processes that have similar symptomatology and in monitoring the course of an existing condition. Its’ primary use is in detecting inflammatory conditions. Inflammatory processes cause an increase in a number of proteins found in the blood. The increase in these proteins, such as fibrinogen, results in increased plasma viscosity and an increased or accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Historically there have been two methods for ESR – the Wintrobe method and the Westergren method. Of the two methods Westergren is the most sensitive. It gives values that agree better with the course of the patients illness in both estimating the degree of the activity of the disease and in indicating the direction of its progress.
Since the literature on Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate overwhelmingly recommends the Westergren method, American Bio-Clinical Laboratories is now only offering the Westergren Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate.
All ESR requests will be performed by the Westergren method.
If you have any question, please call Paul Hoyt, Laboratory Manager at 323-222-6688.