Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) helps to detect the presence of inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be caused by infections, tumors, or autoimmune diseases. ESR helps to diagnose and monitor conditions such as polymyalgia rheumatica, temporal arteritis, systemic vasculitis, or rheumatoid arthritis. ESR is done: • In case of a condition causing inflammation • In case of signs and symptoms of diseases such as temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, systemic vasculitis • In case of signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as neck or shoulder pain, pelvic pain, headaches, poor appetite, anemia, unexplained weight loss, and joint stiffness
Frequently asked questions
How is the blood sample taken?
To take the blood sample, a tourniquet (elastic) band is placed tightly on the upper arm. The patient is asked to make a fist. This helps in the buildup of blood filling the veins and it becomes easy to collect the blood. The skin is cleaned before inserting the needle in the vein in order to prevent bacteria from entering. The needle is then inserted into the vein in the arm and the blood sample is collected in the vacutainer.
What is temporal arteritis?
Temporal arteritis is also known as giant cell arteritis. It involves inflammation and constriction of the blood vessels near the temples on the side of the head.
What is systemic vasculitis?
In systemic vasculitis, the blood vessels get inflamed which can lead to damage to blood vessels.
What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
Polymyalgia rheumatica is a condition in which the muscles become painful and stiff. This condition is associated with temporal arteritis.
What other tests can be advised along with ESR?
Other tests that can be advised along with ESR include a C-reactive protein test, a comprehensive metabolic panel, or complete blood count.
Should I inform my doctor if I am taking any medicines?
Yes, please inform your doctor if you are taking any medicines or supplements as it might interfere with the test results.
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