• How is the ESR blood test used to diagnosis multiple myeloma?

    Asked by downbutnotout on Monday, May 13, 2013

    How is the ESR blood test used to diagnosis multiple myeloma?

    I guess I just don't understand what this blood test has to do with it.

    1 Answer from the Community

    • carm's Avatar

      These tests can be confusing but lets see if I can help answer your question in a way that might clarify it for you a bit. Myeloma is a cancer of a type of cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells make antibodies which are a kind of special protein cell. an ESR or erythrocyte sedimentation rate measures how heavy the cells are by how fast they fall to the bottom of the test tube. If they fall fast then most likely cells are clumped together. In myeloma a high ESR denotes a presence of abnormal amounts of antibodies which are usually referred to as paraproteins or "M" bands like that "M" spike. It is a way to determine what is going on in the marrow. I hope this helps clarify it for you. By the way, I think it is great that you ask such pointed questions. I can see that you are determined to know your disease and that is the way to approach it, Carm.

      over 7 years ago

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