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Definition of Sedimentation rate

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Sedimentation rate: A blood test that detects and monitors inflammation in the body. Abbreviated sed rate. The sed rate measures the rate at which red blood cells in a test tube separate from blood serum over time, becoming sediment at the bottom of the test tube. The sed rate increases as inflammation increases. The sed rate can also become elevated in diseases that feature the production of abnormal proteins, such as multiple myeloma. Also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or ESR.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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