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Investigation of cold agglutinins

Category Blood Transfusion
Test background

Cold agglutinins are autoantibodies that react with antigens on the red blood cell surface. They may induce complement-mediated haemolysis and agglutination (clumping) of red cells (a cryopathic haemolytic syndrome), causing haemolysis and red cell destruction in the reticuloendothelial system or the agglutination of red cells in peripheral cold-exposed vessels leading to vaso-occlusion.

Clinical Indications

This test can sometimes be helpful when a cold autoantibody is suspected, but the diagnosis can often be made from examining a blood film without any complex serological testing.

Reference range

Not applicable

Sample & container required Contact the laboratory to discuss
Sample volume Contact the laboratory to discuss
Turnaround time Dependent on clinical requirement. Contact the laboratory to discuss further.

Sample will be referred to the NHS Blood and Transplant service for testing