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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2002 Apr-Jun;13(2):141-5.

The significance of extreme elevation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate in hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Medicine (Nephrology Division), College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.


We conducted this study to determine the prevalence of elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in chronic hemodialysis patients and to evaluate the dialytic and serum factors that might explain this elevation. ESR was measured using the Westergren method immediately before and immediately after dialysis sessions in 200 stable (i.e. with no other obvious systemic illnesses) hemodialysis patients and in 50 hemodialysis patients during concurrent acute illnesses. ESR was found to be > 25 mm/h in 180 (90%) patients,> 50 mm/h in 76 (38%) and > 100 mm/h in 64(32%) patients. The mean pre dialysis ESR was not significantly different from the mean post dialysis ESR (77 +/- 38 Vs 78 +/- 35 mm/h, respectively). The mean ESR in the 50 patients during acute illnesses was not significantly different from the mean ESR measured during the stable state. Among all dialytic, biochemical and serum factors that were studied in this population, fibrinogen was the only factor that independently correlated significantly with ESR (P=0.015). In conclusion, this study showed that our dialysis patients had a tendency for elevated ESR and almost one third of them (32%) had ESR> 100 in the absence of malignancy or other clinical factors known to cause such levels. There was a significant correlation between elevated ESR and fibrinogen level. Thus, an ESR of > 100 does not necessarily warrant extensive investigations for causes other than the renal failure/hemodialysis state unless other indicators exist to justify the search.

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