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What does an elevated ESR mean?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2396 Questions
What does an ESR of 36 mean?
Posted Fri, 18 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for the query.

ESR is erythrocyte sedimentation rate. It is a very non-specific test so it must be taken in context of anything else which is going on.

ESR can be elevated in the setting of inflammation or infection. If a patient has an autoimmune disorde for example we sometimes follow the ESR to see if there is a trend in a higher direction which could signal more active inflammation in the body.
ESR is usually examined along with other blood tests such as autoimmune markers or markers of infection.

If you have additional clinical history this may be of some help in interpreting your ESR. 36 is mildly elevated compared to a baseline or normal rate.

I thank you again for the query an hope I can further assist you in understanding your lab result.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does an elevated ESR mean? 12 minutes later
Thank you for your answer. I wonder if the XXXXXXX (qual), taken at the same time, is an indicator?
XXXXXXX (qual)
Result: Negative at 1.40 and 1.60 Normal value: Negative
Result: Positive at 1.40 and 1.60 (endpoint). Normal value: Negative
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 9 hours later
Hello and thank you for your follow-up question.

The XXXXXXX result also is sometimes related to autoimmune or inflammatory issues. It looks like the results that you reported we feel that two years ago this result was positive and at this point it is negative. This test result also is somewhat nonspecific. If the result is positive the laboratory can do a special test to determine what pattern of positivity is triggering the result. This can sometimes help the physician determine if the positive result is truly meaningful or reflective of the disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. At the same time other conditions again such as infection can sometimes cause a false positive results.

I think all of these test results need to be taken into consideration and a full context of how you're feeling and what is particularly going on with your general health. If you have any specific concerns or symptoms perhaps sharing those with me will help us determine the significance of these results.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful. If you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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