ESR Blood Test

The test helps in screening inflammatory conditions in the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. It can be useful in detecting conditions that are a cause of inflammation, such as autoimmune diseases, infections and some types of cancers. A physician may also order this test if an individual suffers from fever, has some type of arthritis, or experiences certain muscle problems.

How is an ESR Blood Test Performed?

As the name suggests, it’s a kind of blood test wherein a sample of blood is drawn from one of the veins of the body, normally those nestled near the elbow or the back of the hand. Post the collection of blood in a test tube, the sample is sent to the laboratory for testing and analysis. In the case of an ESR Blood Test for cancer, it’s quite possible that the patient may have to spare more blood samples than usual.

It’s important to note that there are certain medications which can hinder with the tests results and hence, must be stopped temporarily, but only after the consent of the doctor. Medications include:-

  • Androgens, such as testosterone, estrogens, etc.
  • Aspirin, when taken in high doses
  • Divalproex sodium
  • Phenothiazines
  • Valproic acid
  • Methadone
  • Prednisone
  • Phenytoin
  • Heroin

ESR Blood Test Results

The ESR blood test normal range majorly depends upon the age group an individual belongs to.

  • Women below 50 years – less than or equal to 20 mm/hr
  • Women above 50 years – less than or equal to 30 mm/hr
  • Men below 50 years – less than or equal to 15 mm/hr
  • Men above 50 years – less than or equal to 20 mm/hr
  • New born babies – less than or equal to 2 mm/hr
  • Children who have reached puberty – between 3 and 13 mm/hr.

Abnormal ESR Blood Test range, however, may be due to the prevalence of the below-mentioned diseases, conditions or infections in the body.

An Individual may have a high ESR level in case of:-

  • anemia
  • thyroid disease
  • disease in the kidneys
  • lymphoma
  • multiple myeloma
  • pregnancy
  • temporal arteritis
  • old age
  • Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia
  • certain types of arthritis

On the contrary, a person may have lower levels of ESR in the blood because of the presence of conditions such as:-

  • hypofibrinogenemia
  • low plasma protein
  • congestive heart failure
  • leukocytosis
  • sickle cell anemia
  • polycythemia