Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
This is a test that indirectly measures inflammation. Blood is held in a test tube and the time it takes erythrocytes (red blood cells) to fall to the bottom indicates how much inflammation there is, since inflammation makes red blood cells clump together, which makes them fall faster. Therefore, a higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate means more inflammation.
The test is a common one in rheumatoid arthritis and other choronic inflammatory conditions.
Last Updated: August 18 2020