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ESR Automated Blood Test

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ESR Test Overview

An ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) test is a blood test that detects inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the immune system's reaction to infections and injury. Erythrocytes are red blood cells. For an ESR test, the patient's blood sample is collected in a thin test tube to check how fast the blood cells sink to the bottom. Healthy blood cells fall slowly, but in the case of inflammation, the blood cells stick together to form a bunch. Such a bunch drops faster as it is heavier than the single, healthy blood cells. Thus, an ESR test shows the level of inflammation in the body.


What is The ESR Test Used for?

An ESR test is used to understand the cause of the inflammation. Conditions like infection, unexplained fever, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and arthritis cause inflammation. An ESR test is also used to monitor the existing health conditions that could be causing inflammation. An ESR test also helps diagnose the severity of inflammation and study the effects of the treatment.

Erythrocytes (RBCs or red blood cells) contain haemoglobin. It carries oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and body tissues. When they are normal, they are doughnut-shaped with a hole in the middle.

This test measures the sedimentation rate of red blood cells. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a non-specific marker. It increases in inflammation, chronic infection, autoimmune diseases, pregnancy, menstruation, and hypothyroidism.

This is not a stand-alone diagnostic test. This is because the doctor can use this test to determine the course and progress of the inflammation.

When one experiences inflammation, it can affect the RBCs in several ways. Firstly, the red blood cells stick together and form clumps. This affects the rate at which the cells settle down inside a test tube when a blood sample is placed inside it.

When one has an acute infection or chronic inflammation, there may be more proteins. This makes the cells heavier. It settles down quickly. The faster and deeper down the cells sink, the more likely that one might be having an inflammation.

In total, one's ESR number is based on the rate of the red blood cells settling down in the test tube. The higher the ESR number, the higher chance that one might be having an inflammation.

Why is an ESR Automated Blood test done?

This test is done to assess the presence of inflammation. This results from infection, autoimmune diseases and injury. These are common causes of unexplained fever, and joint pains. Serial measurements over days can provide useful information about the level & severity of the condition.

The symptoms will depend on one's condition. But they may also include:

  • Severe headache
  • Unexplained fever
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Pain in the neck
  • Pain in shoulders
  • Appetite loss
  • Anaemia

Written by: Dr Vishal Wadhwa, M.D, D.N.B Microbiology, Medical Affairs

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ESR Automated Blood Test Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the ESR Automated Blood Test with a clear pricing structure.

The ESR Automated Blood Test Price in Mumbai is ₹ 150 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Doctors recommend the ESR test if they observe symptoms of a health problem that causes inflammation. The symptoms of inflammation are:

  • Unexplained fever
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anaemia

Some chronic diseases that cause inflammation are:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Vasculitis (Inflammation of blood vessels)
  • This test is done to diagnose any inflammations in the body.

The ESR test is not an individual diagnostic test, but it helps the doctor detect and study the progress of inflammation in the body. 

Blood is dropped into a tall, thin tube to check for the speed at which the red blood cells sink to the bottom.

An ESR test measures how fast the red blood cells settle at the bottom of the tube. In the case of inflammation, red blood cells stick together to form a bunch or a clump. As these clumps of red blood cells are thicker and denser, they fall to the bottom of the tube faster than individual blood cells that fall at a lesser speed. The immune system's inflammatory response is relative to the distance the red blood cells fall in the tube.

The rate of sedimentation of RBCs is measured by this test.

The ESR test is a simple blood test. 

ESR test Procedure:
  • First, the laboratory technician uses a needle to draw blood from the vein in the upper arm
  • Next, they collect the blood in a test tube and send the sample for analysis at a laboratory
  • The site is then covered with a small bandage to stop the bleeding.
ESR test Precautions:
  • The ESR test is a simple blood test which does not require the patient to take any special precautions. 
  • If other tests are ordered along with the ESR test, the patient will be required to fast for several hours before the test.
  • Informing the doctor about any medications or supplements being taken is crucial, as these can affect the ESR test results.
After the ESR test:

After the ESR test, the pricked site on the arm may have pain for a short while. But the patient can soon resume normal activities.

The ESR Automated Blood test requires a blood sample to be drawn. The lab technician ties an elastic band around the upper arm. Then, one is told to squeeze the arm to allow better blood flow and ease of drawing blood. An antiseptic is applied and the arm is tapped to find the veins. Then, an injection is inserted and the blood is collected in a vacutainer.

ESR test results are reported as the distance in millimetres (mm) the red blood cells have sunk to the bottom of the tube in one hour. 

Normal ESR range is:

  • For men: 0 - 22 mm/hr
  • For women: 0 - 29 mm/hr

A high ESR test result may be an indication of a health condition that causes inflammation. For example:

  • Infection
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Systemic vasculitis (Inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica (Inflammatory disorder causing muscle pain and stiffness around shoulders)
  • Arteritis (Inflammation of the walls of the artery)

A low ESR test result means the red blood cells sank slower than the normal range. This could be an indication of,

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Blood disorders: 
  1. Sickle Cell Disease
  2. Polycythemia (High concentration of red blood cells)
  3. Leukocytosis (High white blood cell count)


Abnormal ESR test results don't always indicate a medical condition. The following can affect ESR test results:


  • Pregnancy
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Obesity
  • Ageing
  • Regular consumption of alcohol
  • Physical exercise
  • Medications
  • Supplements


Sometimes, the patient may suffer from a condition that causes inflammation and still get normal test results. Therefore, a C-reactive protein (CRP) test is usually recommended along with the ESR test for detailed information about the inflammation.

Getting an ESR test done at a trustworthy laboratory is essential. Consulting the family physician and checking for the ESR test price at a recognised laboratory will ensure a smooth test procedure and error-free test results. 

It is a usual blood sample collection. One does not need to be in a fasting condition.

The normal reference range for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) is:


0-15 millimetres 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


0-10 mm/hr


0-2 mm/hr

Some of the other blood tests that are ordered along with the ESR automated blood test to detect the underlying cause of the inflammation are as follows:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Liver Function Test
  • Urine Routine & Microscopy
  • Lipid Profile
  • Kidney Function Test
  • Glucose - Fasting
  • Glycosylated Hemoglobin
  • Vitamin D (25-OH)
  • C- Reactive Protein Quantitative
  • Thyroid profile Total



Sed Rate


Westergren sedimentation rate

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

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