Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Font Size

Sedimentation Rate (Sed Rate)

Results

The sedimentation rate (sed rate) blood test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a test tube.

Normal

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Results are usually available right away.

Sedimentation rate1
Men

0–15 millimeters per hour (mm/hr), or 0–20 mm/hr for men older than 50

Women

0–20 mm/hr, or 0–30 mm/hr for women older than 50

Children

0–10 mm/hr

Newborns

0–2 mm/hr

High values

High sedimentation rates may be caused by:

Low values

Low values may be caused by:

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Anemia.
  • Having your menstrual period.
  • Medicines. Many medicines can change the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.

What To Think About

  • Even though some problems, such as giant cell arteritis, almost always cause a high sedimentation rate (sed rate), the test can't be used by itself to identify a specific disease. Results of a sed rate test are considered along with your symptoms, other test results, and medical information.
  • Some diseases that cause inflammation do not increase the sed rate, so a normal sed rate does not always rule out a disease.
  • Some doctors use the C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test instead of the sed rate test to help identify inflammatory conditions. To learn more, see the topic C-Reactive Protein (CRP).

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
row of colored highlighter pens
Recognizing symptoms.
build a better butt
Check your BMI.
man with indigestion
How to build a better butt.
MS Overview
How to identify that bite.
stressed working woman
What to watch for.
brain scan with soda
Tips to kick the habit.
fat caliper
Tips for living better.
Woman running
And how to fix them?
lone star tick
Check your BMI.
young woman in sun
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
Girl drinking orange juice
How to keep yours at bay.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.