Why analyze sedimentation rate?
Sedimentation rate also known as the sed rate, is a classic method for measuring the rate at which red blood cells sink down a tube over a 1-hour time period. This interesting phenomenon occurs because the red blood cells tend to form small coin rolls when the concentrations of certain high molecular weight plasma proteins, especially fibrinogen and immunoglobulins, change.
An elevated SR level is a nonspecific finding and can be the result of a variety of diseases, as well as other conditions. Internationally, SR is considered to have limited clinical utility except for its use to guide the treatment of conditions such as temporalis arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and rheumatoid arthritis. In Sweden, SR has traditionally been used as a marker for disease and the method still retains its place in routine healthcare.
It is important to note that although SR by itself does not provide a specific diagnosis, its changes over time can be a useful indicator of a person's state of health. That's why the dip is still used as a tool to monitor patients' health and evaluate their medical status.