General haematology

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Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)

Female/Males less than 16 years old 4-10 mm per first hour
Females (greater than 16 years old)        0 – 7 mm per first hour
Males     (greater than 16 years old)        0  – 5 mm per first hour

Plasma Viscosity

(mPa/s at 25°C)

Two Key advantages when compared to the ESR test:

  1. Plasma Viscosity Results are calibrated to a primary standard
  2. Plasma Viscosity is not altered by co-existing non-related factors e.g. anaemia
<1.50 mPa/s

Children <3 years

Hypoproteinaemia (can be due to chemotherapy)

1.50 – 1.72 mPa/s Normal Adult range
1.72 – 1.80 mPa/s Equivocal result suggest repeat after appropriate time
1.80 – 2.00 mPa/s Suggestive of chronic condition
2.00 – 2.30 mPa/s Suggestive of acute condition
>2.30 Suggestive of Myeloma
>2.90 Hyperviscosity. Exclude Macroglobulinaemia as the cause

Glandular Fever Screen

Limitations for infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever): the test detects heterophile antibodies in whole blood. Approximately 10% of adults and up to 40% of children under the age of 5 years do not produce these antibodies so will give a negative screening test. Always consider the test result in combination with clinical symptoms and results of the white cell differential.


(Last reviewed April 2021)