The literature on the erythrocytic sedimentation test is rapidly becoming voluminous. Many writers have praised the test; some have condemned it; but the majority believe it has merit. Like all new tests, it probably has been overrated, and is now settling into its proper place, that of a laboratory test of real value, but one to be used only as an aid in diagnosis and not as a substitute for clinical alertness and care.
Advanced first as a laboratory procedure by Fåhraeus,1 in 1918, as a test for pregnancy, it was soon disproved as a specific test for that condition, but other uses were found for it. It was observed that in any condition characterized by the destruction of tissue the normal rate of erythrocytic sedimentation was increased, and because of developments in this observation it has a definite use in differential diagnosis. In addition, because the rate changes