Erythrocyte sedimentation

Erythrocyte sedimentation refers to the time it takes for blood platelets and white and red blood cells to settle to the bottom of a test tube, and is denoted by SE, which indicates the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation.

Many try to find out the meaning of the numbers on blood test results or other medical tests, after performing tests, wondering if everything is OK and within normal limits.

So, when the findings of the blood draw are over, there are certain parameters on the basis of which the doctors determine normal values, and after which the doctor determines whether everything is OK or whether certain measures need to be taken.


If the total value of SE is greater than 15, it means that the body of the person performing the laboratory search is fighting an infection.

As we said earlier, SE is an abbreviation explaining the rate of sedimentation that refers to the time required for white and red blood cells as well as blood platelets to settle to the bottom of a laboratory tube.

If, after 1 hour, the erythrocyte sedimentation is 15 mm or even less, then the findings are perfectly fine. In such a finding, it can be seen that elevated inflammatory values ​​indicate that the body is fighting an inflammatory process. If it is the mildest infection, there will be changes.


Cystitis and mild colds are already sufficient to increase SE values ​​and remain elevated for several days. SE may remain elevated both after symptoms have resolved and after therapy has ended.

One of the drawbacks of this search is that the value only indicates if there is an inflammatory process, but it cannot be shown exactly what the inflammation is.

Eg. sudden increases in SE that are above 50 mm, return abruptly to normal, and are often a sign of an acute infection, which can be treated with medication prescribed by the doctor, and can go away on its own.

If the values ​​are permanently raised to 30 mm and do not decrease, they can also be a sign of rheumatoid changes in autoimmune diseases, joints or hepatitis. If you are not sure, your doctor will explain everything best to know what certain values ​​mean and whether there is a need for further action.

Author: A.Z., Photo: mashe / Shutterstock

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR); What Does This Lab Test Really Mean? (November 2020)