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The determination of the ‘erythrocyte sedimentation rate’ (ESR) is a commonly performed laboratory test with a traditional role. In this article, the mechanism of red blood cell aggregation and sedimentation is described, the standardised procedure is explained and we provide an update on the clinical interpretation of the ESR.
A short introduction to the concepts of metrological traceability and measurement uncertainty is given in the article for readers who are not familiar with them. It also includes a short description of the steps needed to evaluate uncertainty. The article further explains how traceability is assured for the Sysmex haematology calibrators and describes how the uncertainty of these calibrators was evaluated.
Synovial fluid is a viscous liquid found in the cavities of synovial joints. Several articular diseases are characterised by fluid accumulation in joints, so that arthrocentesis and morphological analysis are essential tools for differentiating a non-inflammatory arthropathy from an inflammatory arthropathy or an infectious disease. Cell count and differentiation are important diagnostic aspects in such patients. This first SEED article about synovial fluid summarises the typical characteristics and recommends procedures for specimen collection and handling.