Whatever has happened to ESR?

I've been asking for ESR results for the last couple of months. All I get back is CRP (both inflammatory markers - I do know the difference). Does anyone know why the ESR has stopped? At first I thought it was the surgery nurse who hadn't asked for the usual thing but I've just had another set of results without ESR there. I really want it for comparative purposes.


26 Replies

  • I still get both ESR and CRP results. Hope you resolve this. Jo

  • thanks, I'm really puzzled.

  • I just get ESR. Used to have both ESR & CRP, but this stopped a long time ago.

  • When I first moved to scotland I could just get ESR. Since October I can only get crp despite asking for both. Weird!

  • I was told that ESR is a much cheaper (although less accurate) test, so they use that more at the beginning when you're being tested weekly/2 weekly and only do the CRP every couple of months. But now I've "grown up" and moved on to only having blood tests every 2-3 months they're prepared to spend the money to get CRP done. But not both as not necessary to spend the money.

  • This gets more mysterious. I specifically asked for the cheaper ESR - for proper comparisons. Thanks for your experience


  • I only get my ESR done ever but the hospital rely on CRP instead - so I learned the one time I've been there overnight a year ago. And I don't even get my ESR these days unless I go in and beg ever four or five months now that I'm off drugs. My GP says it's unreliable as an indicator of much at all but in my case I feel it's a very dependable reflection of how I'm feeling. Tx

  • thanks

  • I have both done Cathie as it forms part of my monthly drug monitoring (MTX), always has. Like you, I find it good to keep an eye on the two but compare my CRP more with my WBC & neutrophils levels of late as I find that the 3 are good indicators of underlying infection/possible problems & if caught early enough I can get to my GP before it gets a proper hold. Rightly or wrongly, not overly sure but it works for me!

    It would drive me daft not knowing! Have you asked directly why they won't or don't do it any more?

  • I always get both......and I'm in Scotland

  • Cost! There are differences between areas and surgerys. We had a locum who requested it (as it was standard practice at his surgery) but was told at ours he couldn't request due to cost. Given what I know now that it's the cheaper of the two tests it beggars belief!

  • I get both Cathie as well and I'm in Scotland as you know x

  • Thanks Iain. Let me know how you are? Hope things are going well xx

  • Hi Cathie & Wishbone, I'm still not good having a really rough time of it at present, just doesnt seem to want to give up up subside, still in what can only be described the worst flare Ive ever had, still in excruciating pain, and waiting on cimzia to work, I have my doubts but need to stick with it upto 12 weeks, hope you are both well

  • So the wait goes on!.. I feel for you mate. Goes without saying what christmas present you're wishing for..hope you get an early one and cimzia kicks in soon....

    I'm still doing fine on enbrel +mtx..long may it run!................

  • Thats excellent news, wish it had continued for me, had a great 10 weeks on it though, felt fantastic. Mtx is off the menu also because of liver, so as you say Im wishing for Cimzia to kick in for my Christmas,,heres hoping. Great to hear you are doing good mate long may it continue for you mate

  • I'd also like to know how you're feeling Iain?.. last heard that you was having a pretty rough time.

  • Sometimes a decision is taken by the laboratory (or by the local health board) not to continue a particular test. If ESR measurements are not being used very much it can be disruptive to have to break off to set up to do a single ESR. Although it's a cheap test it is a bit fiddly with the equipment. Ask your GP/practice nurse/phlebotomist?

  • I will look into it, that's the second time I've asked for Esr and got crp!

  • Over 43 years of RA, GP surgery only test ESR, reluctant to do CRP, even if I request or seeing Rheumatologist. Taken MTX over 30 years, must be a cost thing.

  • I also think it's a cost thing..I started taking enbrel along with methotrexate a few months ago. Wanting to see how my inflammation levels were doing on the new meds I asked for both ESR & CRP to be tested, but as with you my GP surgery wouldn't do CRP.

  • I'm still getting both. Could you ask the surgery to make sure it's on the form? X

  • Yes, next time - thanks everyone!

  • Good luck :)

  • I think there have been some suggestions that CRP is more accurate than ESR in monitoring inflammation, therefore some doctors won't do ESR any more and just do CRP. Its a bit stupid if you happen to know that your ESR does go up and down with changes in disease activity.

  • Quite, I havet used crp for about 8 years

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