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Test Code ESR ESR

Clinical System Name

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate


The ESR is used to demonstrate the presence of nonspecific inflammation and/or tissue destruction. It is a nonspecific test indicating tissue destruction but not specifying the cause.


The ESR is elevated in the following conditions: inflammatory conditions with increased acute phase reactants, rheumatoid and pyogenic arthritis, pelvic inflammation, systemic lupus erythematosus, tuberculosis, kidney disease, chronic liver disease, enteritis, severe anemia, multiple myeloma, lymphomas, myocardial infarction, pregnancy, menstruation, oral contraceptives, hepatitis, cirrhosis, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, cryoglobulinemia, tissue necrosis, etc.


ESR values are decreased in the following conditions: polycythemia vera, some forms of macroglobulinemia and sickle cell anemia. ESR values are decreased when age of specimen exceeds recommended time. The ESR has a high sensitivity, but lacks specificity. Changes in ESR may provide information concerning the disease process and may help observing therapeutic response.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole Blood

Container(s):  Lavender/EDTA  (No micro containers )

Preferred Vol:  2.0-3.0 mL

Minimum Vol:  2.0 mL


Notes: A hematocrit is performed concurrently.


Processing Instructions

Reject due to:  Insufficient Quantity, Wrong Sample collection, Clotted Sample

Spin: N

Aliquot: N

Temp:  RT

Storage location:  Deliver to Core Lab Hematology bench


Off-site collection: Store whole blood at room teperature and transport to Children's Lab within 4 hours or refrigerate whole blood and transport to Children's Lab within 12 hours.



Specimen Type Temperature Time
Whole blood RT

4 hrs

 Whole blood 2-8oC

 12 hrs

Whole blood -20oC or -70oC




STAT Performed TAT
Y 24/7 80 min


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory    


Department:  Core Hematology

Phone Number: 206-987-2561


Lab Client Services: 206-987-2617



Reference Range



Normal ESR values according to Westergren


Male (mm/hour)

Female (mm/hour)

0 – 12 y




0 – 15

0 - 20



Method:  Modified Westergren Method

Analytical Volume:  1.0 mL  plasma

CPT Codes