An ESR is a blood test to measure inflammation in the body. It is one of the most commonly ordered tests and can provide valuable information about your health.
In the ESR test, the amount of time it takes red blood cells to accumulate at the bottom of a blood tube is measured. A higher-than-normal result may indicate inflammation in the body, and further testing may be necessary to determine its cause.
The ESR test alone does not diagnose any specific condition but can help physicians identify underlying problems more efficiently. Thus, it is often used as a follow-up test after other diagnostic procedures have been completed, such as X-rays or CT scans.
Furthermore, an elevated ESR level can signal an infection, autoimmune disorder, inflammatory disease, or other conditions that cause inflammation in the body.
Factors Responsible for High ESR Levels
A variety of conditions may cause an increase in ESR levels. Inflammation is likely responsible for these conditions, but it may not always be the case. The following conditions may cause a significant increase in ESR.
Infection is the body’s response to an invasion of bacteria, viruses, and other foreign organisms. When the body’s immune system detects a potential threat, it sends white blood cells to fight off the invaders. This process increases protein production in the bloodstream and increases ESR levels.
Infections can range from mild illnesses such as common colds or flu to severe ailments like HIV or tuberculosis. All these different types of diseases can cause an increase in ESR levels.
- Autoimmune Conditions
An autoimmune condition is when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its healthy tissues instead of defending against foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria. It can cause inflammation, increasing the number of proteins in the bloodstream, resulting in an elevated ESR level. Common autoimmune conditions leading to high ESR include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and vasculitis.
- Polycythemia Vera
Polycythemia Vera (PV) is a rare cancer affecting red blood cell production. It is caused by an abnormality in the bone marrow, leading to increased production of erythrocytes. The excessive amount of erythrocytes can lead to higher than normal levels of ESR.
The exact cause for the development of PV remains unknown; however, genetic mutations and family history may have a role. In addition, certain chemicals and radiation exposure may contribute to the onset of PV.
This condition occurs when the number of white blood cells in the body is abnormally high. Various factors can cause it, including bacterial and viral infections, different inflammatory conditions, and certain types of cancer. Typically, patients with leukocytosis also have an elevated ESR, which indicates increased inflammation or infection in the body.
ESR Test Cost
ESR test cost can vary depending on where it is done and what laboratory performs the testing. Generally speaking, the price ranges from ₹ 30 and ₹ 130. However, this depends on factors such as location, facility availability, and discounts offered by hospitals or labs conducting the test.
The ESR test cost may also vary depending on whether your doctor has requested additional tests along with the ESR Test. For example, if you need to get other tests like Hemoglobin A1c or Lipid Profile done along with the ESR Test, additional costs will be incurred.
Various factors can cause high ESR levels; understanding the potential causes of high ESR levels is essential for proper treatment to be administered. Therefore, if you experience any symptoms associated with high ESR levels, such as fever, joint pain, or fatigue, you should visit an experienced doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.