Reference Values


Separate reference values for each decade of adult life in men and women should be established locally.1,2 Several other variables influence the ESR, most notably hemoglobin level, medication, menstrual cycle, pregnancy and smoking.1,2 Both the International Council for Standardization in Haematology (ICSH) and the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) state that reference values for the ESR or Sed-rate should be established locally.1,2

We therefore recommend that laboratories establish individual reference values by themselves. The ICSH review of the measurement of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate1 and the CLSI Approved Standard, Fifth Edition H02-A5,2 may provide further guidance.

1 Jou, J.M., Lewis, S.M., Briggs, C., et al. ICSH review of the measurement of the erythrocyte aedimentation rate. Int. J. Lab Haemat., 2011: 33, 125-132
2 Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Procedures for the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Test. Approved Standard, Fifth Edition H02-A5, May 2011. ISBN 1562387545