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Change to ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) method

The Haematology laboratory will be changing the method used for ESR testing from Tuesday 26th September 2018.

The blood sample required for testing remains the same i.e. EDTA (purple-topped).

The minimum volume required for testing will be 1ml.

There will be no change to the reference range or reporting units.

There will be no change to the ordering or reporting of tests.


Comparability between the old and new methods is extremely close for values up to approximately 60 mm/h. There may be slightly more variation for values between 60 and 120 mm/h.


It is advised that serially monitored results are carefully correlated clinically during the transition. It may be necessary to establish an updated trend using results from the new method, particularly for values over 60 mm/h.


Due to the differing technology, the sensitivity and specificity of the new method for various disease states may be different from the standard Westergren method. This could lead to significantly different results in a small minority of patients.


For further technical information or clinical advice please contact: Haematology laboratory 01782 6(74943) or Haematology Team on duty via pager 723/speed dial 15723.


NB This test is currently not ISO 15189 accredited - assessment pending.