Sedimentation Rate (Sed Rate)
Sedimentation Rate (Sed Rate)
The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly( ) settle in a test tube in one hour. The more red cells that fall to the bottom of the test tube in one hour, the higher the sed rate.
When proteins cause to stick together and fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the tube. These are produced by the and the immune system under many abnormal conditions, such as an infection, an autoimmune disease, or cancer.is present in the body, certain
There are many possible causes of a high sedimentation rate. For this reason, a sed rate is done with other tests to confirm a diagnosis. After a diagnosis has been made, a sed rate can be done to help check on the disease or see how well treatment is working.
Why It Is Done
A sedimentation rate (sed rate) test is done to:
- Find out if inflammation or infection is present.
- Check on the progress of a disease.
- See how well a treatment is working.
How To Prepare
You do not need to do anything before you have this test.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form ( What is a PDF document? ).
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing blood will:
- Wrap an elastic around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Apply a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Apply pressure to the site and then a bandage.
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elasticis wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the puncture site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
- In rare cases, the vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress applied several times daily.
The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly( ) settle in a test tube.
The normal values listed hereâ€”called a reference rangeâ€”are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Results are usually available right away.
0â€“15 millimeters per hour (mm/hr), or 0â€“20 mm/hr for men older than 50
0â€“20 mm/hr, or 0â€“30 mm/hr for women older than 50
High sedimentation rates may be caused by:
- systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis. , such as
- Cancer, such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Infection, such as pneumonia, pelvic inflammatory disease, or appendicitis.
- polymyalgia rheumatica) and blood vessels (such as giant cell arteritis). of (such as
- Graves' disease). of the (
- Kidney, bone, joint, skin, or heart valve infections.
- Pregnancy and preeclampsia (toxemia of ).
Low values may be caused by:
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Having your menstrual period.
- Medicines. Many medicines can change the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.
What To Think About
- Even though some problems, such as , almost always cause a high sedimentation rate (sed rate), the test can't be used by itself to identify a specific disease. Results of a sed rate test are considered along with your symptoms, other test results, and medical information.
- Some diseases that cause inflammation do not increase the sed rate, so a normal sed rate does not always rule out a disease.
- Some doctors use the C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test instead of the sed rate test to help identify inflammatory conditions. To learn more, see the topic C-Reactive Protein (CRP).
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofOctober 10, 2017
Current as of:
October 10, 2017