ESR represents a nonspecific response to tissue damage and inflammation and
denotes the presence of disease, but not its severity. It
primarily reflects changes in the plasma proteins that accompany most the acute
and chronic infections, tumors, and degenerative diseases. It may be used to follow the progress of
certain diseases such as tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The
sedimentation of red blood cells takes place in three stages: In
the first 10 minutes (lag phase) rouleaux formation occurs and the
sedimentation rate is slight.
then occurs for a period of approximately 40 minutes at a more rapid and
During the last 10 minutes, the sedimentation rate is slow
because of the accumulation of RBCs in bottom of the tube. The longer the tube the longer the stage two
will last, and therefore the higher the ESR result..........