Journal Article

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, an underestimated tool in chronic renal failure

M. Brouillard, R. Reade, E. Boulanger, G. Cardon, M. Dracon, P. Dequiedt and D. Pagniez

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 11, issue 11, pages 2244-2247
Published in print November 1996 | ISSN: 0931-0509
e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, an underestimated tool in chronic renal failure

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Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is widely used in the general population. It has seldom been studied in patients with chronic renal failure. The purpose of this study was to assess its usefulness in haemodialysis patients.


Forty-five haemodialysis patients with no evidence of acute or chronic inflammatory illness were studied. Nine were diabetic, and 12 used a nonbiocompatible membrane. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was determined, using a modified Westergren method. Plasma fibrinogen concentration, complete blood count, and serum chemistries were also studied.


Erythrocyte sedimentation rate was normal or mildly elevated in most of our patients, with a median of 30 mm/h. Linear analysis found positive correlation between erythrocyte sedimentation rate and fibrinogen concentration, globulin level, platelet, and white cell counts, and negative correlation with haematocrit. Fibrinogen concentration was normal in 22 patients, and moderately elevated in 14. It was significantly higher in diabetic patients, or those using a nonbiocompatible membrane. The same positive correlations were found for fibrinogen concentration as for erythrocyte sedimentation rate.


We conclude that erythrocyte sedimentation rate can be used in haemodialysis patients much in the same way as in the general population, as it is influenced by the same factors, and its baseline value is lower than previously reported. The lower concentration of fibrinogen, an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk, in patients treated with biocompatible membranes may be of clinical relevance.

Keywords: biompatible membranes; chronic renal failure; erythrocyte sedimentation rate; fibrinogen; haemodialysis

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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