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7 Cards in this Set

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What happens if a tube of anticoagulated blood from a healthy individual is permitted to stand for about an hour?
Gravity will cause sedimentation of the formed elements resulting in a layer of clear plasma approximately 15mm thick on top of the tube.
The rate of fall of formed elements in one hour is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. TRUE/FALSE
TRUE.
If the layer of plasma is above 15mm, what might this mean?
In individuals that suffer with a variety of inflammatory conditions, the clear layer on top of the ESR is often between 30 and 40mm thick.
What exactly is this increased ESR due to?
This is due to liver secreted proteins in to the circulation. The function of these proteins is to assist the body in response to the inflammation.
In the above scenario, is blood density changed?
Yes. These liver proteins also cause RBCs to aggregate or cluster, resulting in an increase in blood density. Elevated ESR is a consequence of this.
Is the ESR a specific test?
No. It cannot identify a specific cause.
When might the ESR be used?
It can make an initial determination regarding inflammation as the cause of a non specific symptom such as fatigue or weakness. If positive, more specific tests are employed.