An automated instrument accurately measures erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESRs) and is faster and more consistent than the manual method.
The automated machine can scan 10 tubes at a time and give precise ESR results within 30 minutes as compared to the one hour the Westergren methods takes. Calibrated ESR-vacuum tubes, filled with 1.2 mL of blood, are used with the machine.
ESR analysis, also known as the sed-rate, is a nonspecific screening test for inflammation caused by a variety of medical conditions. An elevated ESR value can signal autoimmune disease, arthritis, anemia, infection, malignancy, and/or many other conditions. The manual method, though simple to per-form, suffers from technical inconsistencies, like poor mixing, tilting, or vibrations during the sedimentation period.
The Streck ESR-Auto Plus (Streck, Inc.; Omaha, NE, USA; www.streck.com) is a fully automated system that offers reliable results, incorporates a quality control system, and eliminates the need for manual daily recording. Results are measured in millimeters per hour and have greater than 98% correlation to the manual modified Westergren method. Control samples are stored in individual log files that hold up to 100 samples per level. Statistical reports are generated with the following features: standard deviation, coefficient of variation (CV %), mean, highest and lowest result. The instrument features random access, a built-in printer, sample identification (ID) capability, and a 15-minute prediction mode.
Streck’s ESR-Vacuum Tubes used with the ESR-Auto Plus, offer further safety and stability benefits. ESR-Vacuum Tubes offer direct-draw blood collection that eliminates unnecessary transfers of patient samples. ESR-Vacuum Tubes can also be ordered with a Mylar safety coating which provides impact resistance and will contain glass and blood specimens in the event of tube breakage.
Image: The ESR-Auto Plus automated system (Photo courtesy of Streck).