The test for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is accepted in the medicine of the whole world as obligatory when performing a general blood test.
It is carried out in the diagnosis of any diseases, as well as during medical examinations and preventive examinations. For women, the rate of soe is 2–15 mm in one hour, for men, the norm is 2–10 mm in one hour, for children, the indicators depend on age.
If the ESR in the blood test is normal, this indicates the absence of a pronounced inflammatory process in the body. However, this indicator is not the only, and not the most important when making a correct diagnosis. In order to correctly decipher the results of the analysis, it is necessary to take into account the number of leukocytes, leukocyte formula of blood, c-reactive protein. The ESR indicator can also be affected by the number of red blood cells, their qualitative composition.
In this article we look at the rate of ESR in the blood of women, men and children in the form of a table, and also pay attention to the ESR indicators after 40, 50 and 60 years.
What is the ESR examined for?
What it is? ESR is a non-specific high sensitivity test that detects the presence or absence of an inflammatory process in the body, but not specifically its cause.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is measured as part of a general blood test to identify the causes of symptoms with unclear etiology (for example, unexplained fever), to identify certain types of arthritis and other diseases with subtle symptoms.
The specific mass of erythrocytes is higher than the specific mass of plasma; therefore, in the analysis, red blood cells slowly settle to the bottom of the tube. The sedimentation rate depends on the degree of erythrocyte aggregation, which is determined by the protein composition and the electrical properties of the plasma.
Blood sampling for research occurs, as usual, in the morning on an empty stomach. Some special training is not necessary. But in cases where inflammation is detected, blood can be taken during the day after eating to follow the dynamics.
What is the rate of ESR in the blood?
The measuring unit that determines the level of ESR is the distance at which the red blood cells will sink to the bottom of the tube (millimeters / hour). When red blood cells go down faster, it means that the body’s response to inflammation is stronger, which means that the inflammation itself is more serious.
The rate of ESR in the blood in children and adults is presented in the table:
- Women ESR should be from 3 to 15 mm / h.
- In men, from 2 to 10 mm / h.
- In children up to 6 months from 12 to 17 mm / h.
- In infants from 0 to 2 mm / h.
- In pregnant women from 20 to 25 mm / h. In this case, it all depends on how the blood is diluted against the background of how anemia develops.
Initially, this process is influenced by those indicators that are included in the formula of a clinical blood test.
The level of erythrocytes, their change in shape, decrease / increase in pigments and bile acids, and the concentration of albumin predominantly affect the ESR. Also, this indicator is affected by blood thinning or an increase in its viscosity, and acidification of the blood, provoking the development of acidosis, is of considerable importance.
The rate of ESR in women
In a healthy woman, the ESR varies between 10-18 mm / h. The average level is 12 mm / h. After 50 years it rises slightly and is 15 mm / h. The norm at this age is the value of 14-25 mm / h.
During pregnancy from the beginning of the 2nd trimester, the ESR begins to grow steadily and reaches its maximum by childbirth (up to 55 mm / h, which is considered to be absolutely normal). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate returns to its former indices after giving birth in about three weeks.
The rate of ESR in men
In men, the rate of adhesion and erythrocyte sedimentation is slightly less: in the blood analysis of a healthy male, the ESR varies between 8–10 mm / h. However, in men older than 60 years, the value is somewhat higher. At this age, the average parameter for men is 20 mm / h.
A deviation in men of this age group is considered to be 30 mm / h, although for women this figure, albeit slightly overestimated, does not require increased attention, and is not considered a sign of pathology.
The rate of ESR in children
Small inhabitants of the planet, namely our children deserve our close attention. The rate varies slightly throughout their life and maturity. For example, in the first month of life it is 2-30 mm / h, it varies from year to six in the range of 1-12 mm / h. After 7 years, there is a gradual change in the data, and by the age of 8, the figures correspond to the level of an adult.
Causes of increased ESR
An increase or decrease in ESR in the results of a general blood test is not a reason to indulge in panic. An increase in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate most often occurs during a cold or a viral infection or flu. This indicator will return to normal almost immediately after recovery. Among the reasons for which the ESR in the blood rises, in addition to colds and all the like are present:
- injuries and fractures in the recent past;
- the postoperative period;
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- pneumonia, rheumatism, syphilis, tuberculosis, sepsis;
- the presence of tumors;
- diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis;
- intoxication of the body;
- kidney or liver problems.
- a very sharp increase in ESR up to 60-80 mm / hour is characteristic of myeloma, lymphosarcoma and other tumors.
In addition to diseases, if the ESR indicators are too high, it is quite possible that the reason lies in the diet. So, fasting, malnutrition, and even substantial food intake before testing can show an elevated ESR. Therefore, if you have any abnormalities, it is advisable to repeat the analysis. Also, a blood test ESR can be higher than normal, if you are in the period of menstruation, are susceptible to allergies or in the postpartum period.
Causes of low ESR in the blood
Reduction in erythrocyte sedimentation rate may be due to the following reasons:
- with increasing blood viscosity;
- with an increased number of red blood cells in the blood;
- with an increase in the amount of albumin in the blood;
- with an increase in bile pigments and its acids in the blood;
- with a decrease in pH in the blood, that is, with the development of acidosis;
- during erythrocyte change.
Knowing these reasons for a decrease in ESR, changes in this indicator in the case of certain conditions or diseases become quite understandable, namely:
- with erythrocytosis and erythremia;
- with neurosis;
- with hypofibrinogenemia, hyperalbuminemia and hypoglobulinemia;
- with severe failure of blood circulation;
- in spherocytosis, hemoglobinopathy, anisocytosis, and sickle cell anemia;
- with epilepsy.
It should be remembered that the rate of sedimentation of erythrocytes is just one of many integrated blood parameters, and a change in this indicator alone cannot indicate the presence of a pathological process in the body.