The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test measures inflammation and helps diagnose conditions associated with acute and chronic inflammation.
It can detect increases in inflammation but it does not pinpoint where the inflammation is or point to a specific disease. The test is usually done several times over a certain time period to measure changes in inflammation.
The ESR is a nonspecific indicator of the presence of disease. The ESR rises with the age and anemia. Others are rheumatoid arthritis, renal disease, infection, sarcoidosis or malignancy.