by / Sunday, 02 October 2011 / Published in Biochemistry

Very few medical students have a firm grasp on exactly what the ESR test is, and more importantly what the results mean and how they are interpreted. ¬†This is one of those tests that when you understand it completely you don’t have to memorize; as it makes 100% sense.

Here is a short video explanation from my 80-day Step 1 Skype course that I made for a student to help him better understand the erythrocyte sedimentation rate – I believe it can help clarify things for you as well.


If you have anything to add please feel free to leave a comment!

Dr. Paul


  1. usha says : Reply

    My son has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and in his blood work his ESR was 25. the doctors told me this has no significance to the pain that he has and still is going through.His INR was 0.97 aPTT32.2 sec and bleeding time 7 min. could he have some sort of athritic disorder. would appreciate any input. Mrs Milutin

    • Paul Ciurysek, MD says : Reply

      ESR is an indirect test to measure inflammatory processes going on in the body, and is not a direct diagnostic tool. It is difficult for me to say whether your son has an arthritic disorder without knowing more about his symptoms. Inflammation can lead to pain, but I would trust the doctors in this case because they would know much more about your son’s condition that I do. Sorry I could not be of more help, it is tough to give input without having an evaluation of a patient.

      Good luck.

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