Alternative names, keywords

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate

Samples required

EDTA blood (purple cap/ black cap ring, 4 mL tube).

2 mL EDTA tubes (purple cap/ white cap ring) are available for paediatric samples however please note the 1.3 mL neonatal tubes cannot be processed.

Samples must be processed in the laboratory within 8 hours of venepuncture.

In suspected or confirmed COVID patients, testing for ESR cannot be processed unless the clinical details query temporal arteritis, giant cell arteritis or polymyalgia. This is due to the high risk to staff during the testing process.

Please consider alternative tests available, e.g. CRP. Please discuss with Haematology lab if necessary.


Test indications

Typically requested for investigations of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, temporal arthritis, headaches. Also for monitoring of treatments for such conditions. It can also be indicated in certain haematological conditions such as myeloma.

Reference range

0 to 15 mm in 1 hour

Source: Dacie and Lewis "Practical Haematology"(11th edition) - verified in house.

Turnaround time

1 working day