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What is the sedimentation rate?


The sedimentation rate -- or “sed rate,” for short -- is a blood test that checks for inflammation in your
body. It’s one clue for your doctor that you might have a disease linked to inflammation, like arthritis or

The sed rate test measures how fast red blood cells fall to the bottom of a tube. Inflammation creates
proteins that make red blood cells fall more quickly.

Another name for this test is erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or ESR. (Red blood cells are called
erythrocytes.) Sedimentation is the process by which they fall to the bottom of the tube.