Sedimentation Rate (Sed Rate)
The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Results are usually available right away.
0–15 Reference millimeters Opens New Window per hour (mm/hr), or 0–20 mm/hr for men older than 50
0–20 mm/hr, or 0–30 mm/hr for women older than 50
High sedimentation rates may be caused by:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Reference systemic lupus erythematosus Opens New Window or Reference rheumatoid arthritis Opens New Window.
- Cancer, such as Reference lymphoma Opens New Window or Reference multiple myeloma Opens New Window.
- Reference Chronic kidney disease Opens New Window.
- Infection, such as Reference pneumonia Opens New Window, Reference pelvic inflammatory disease Opens New Window, or Reference appendicitis Opens New Window.
- Inflammation of joints (such as Reference polymyalgia rheumatica Opens New Window) and blood vessels (such as Reference giant cell arteritis Opens New Window).
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland (Reference Graves' disease Opens New Window).
- Kidney, bone, joint, skin, or heart valve infections.
- Pregnancy and Reference preeclampsia Opens New Window (toxemia of pregnancy).
- Viral infections.
Low values may be caused by:
- High blood sugar levels.
- Reference Polycythemia Opens New Window.
- Reference Sickle cell disease Opens New Window.
- Severe liver disease.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine