Results from your sed rate test will be reported in the distance in millimeters (mm) that red blood cells have descended in one hour (hr). The normal range is 0-22 mm/hr for men and 0-29 mm/hr for women. The upper threshold for a normal sed rate value may vary somewhat from one medical practice to another.

Your sed rate is one piece of information to help your doctor check your health. Talk to your doctor about what your sed rate results mean in light of your symptoms and the results of your other diagnostic tests.

Accuracy of test results

A number of conditions can affect the properties of blood, thereby affecting how quickly red blood cells sink in a sample of blood. So information about inflammatory disease — what your doctor intends to learn from the sed rate test — can be obscured by the influence of other conditions. These complicating factors include:

  • Advanced age
  • Anemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Kidney problems
  • Thyroid disease
  • Some cancers, such as multiple myeloma
  • Infection

Your doctor will take into account possible complicating factors when interpreting the results of your sed rate test.